Inferno.

inferno_ver3

Give two actors who are on my list of great actors, a novel that I had enjoyed reading being made into a movie with those two actors and how could I not go to see Inferno? And when I was taken to see it by the two most favourite people on earth, it was worth staying up late to see a late night show last night.

Like most films based on successful novels, this film too suffers from not quite coming up to the viewer’s expectations. It suffers primarily on the details, but the fast paced action more than compensates and overall, offers a pleasant viewing experience. There are some differences between the two in terms of facts but that does not significantly affect the overall impact of the narration.

Tom Hanks does not disappoint. In fact, the whole film is carried on his shoulders without visible effort by him. All the other actors, though important to the plot and play their roles, for all that it matters, are their in supporting roles, even almost cameo, bar Felicity Jones who appears throughout the film.

Another remarkable feature of the film is the background music. Apt, present yet not intrusive. After a long time, I experienced that in a modern movie.

If there is one complaint that I have about the film, that is about the gross under-utilisation of Irrfan Khan‘s talents. For the kind of role that he has played in this film, any ‘body’ would have been enough. The three of us wondered if he would not have played a better role as the lead in the film, but that is wishful thinking.

Whether you have read the book or not, this is a movie worth seeing.

Denial.

denial

I am blessed with some friends who do the unusual. One of them is Ashwani. He was reading Dan Brown’s Inferno and came across a number of instances of “Denial”. He pieced together a collage from that book and other sources, into a fascinating and coherent narration and sent it to me. Here it is.

“A subject that fascinates me – Denial.

The human mind has a primitive ego defense mechanism that negates all realities that produce too much stress for the brain to handle. It’s called denial.

People have heard of denial but don’t think it exists. But it’s very real. Denial is a critical part of the human coping mechanism. Without it, we would all wake up terrified every morning about all the ways we could die. Instead, our minds block out our existential fears by focusing on stresses we can handle – like getting to work on time or paying our taxes. If we have wider, existential fears, we jettison them very quickly, refocusing on simple tasks and daily trivialities.

A recent web tracking study of students at some Ivy League universities revealed that even highly intellectual users displayed an instinctual tendency towards denial. According to the study, the vast majority of university students, after clicking on a depressing news article about arctic ice melt or species extinction, would quickly exit that page in favour of something trivial that purged their minds of fear; favourite choices included sports highlights and celebrity gossip.

That’s why sometimes a situation/action that seems impossible is not impossible, just unthinkable.”

Thank you Ashwani.