Wednesday, January 4

Where Is My Bamboo Forest?

So every now and then, when I put on a bath robe after showering, I get this notion that I'm missing a sword or a dagger or a forest of tall swaying bamboo stalks. Thanx Quenton Tarantino. Thanx.

My dad and I watched Hero last night. I've seen it a couple of times now. One can't help but wonder why Tarantino glorifies suicide. Think about it. The movie is already dramatic, depressing, and yet beautiful, enough to stir the audience's emotions.

So I thought, "Maybe he's trying to emphasize the frustration by which the human being often feels consumed." However, death is not nearly as illustrative of frustration as is life, really. After all, by death, one eliminates the component of life, and by doing so, you cannot illustrate anything. With death, all you can observe are tombstones and grave markers. Observations must be made from the actual lifetime of the character. Frustration is something that must be felt to exist, and someone has to live to feel. So if Tarantino's purpose was indeed to magnify human frustration, his means was logically fallacious.

It goes without saying that should this film have even remotely had to do with Islam, it would certainly at least end otherwise. Not just hijabically, but conceptually. The ultimate ends being sought by some characters was not a united nation; Rather, it follows J.S. Mill's theory of hedonistic egoism. The ends for each individual was pleasure for self--more specifically, escape from pain. Well, it is given that Mill was proud of his blasphemous ideas and statements. However, if we focus on the proposition that the theme of Hero can be characterized by hedonistic egoism, we are able to say that characters in the film, specifically Broken Sword and Snow, end their lives the way they did in order to escape the pain of this world. (Yeah, so much for "Our Land.")

This may make complete sense to some people. For Islamix, death is only a passage--not an escape. And what escaping that can be done can only be during this lifetime. We can't change the deeds of the past--we can only do our best to do better in the future (like the posters of The Serenity Prayer tell us...good times). However, we can repent for the past, which is closer to escaping it (especially if Allah, SwT, does forgive us) than if we try to forget it, especially through something irreversible as ending this life (only Allah can reverse it, and with the exception of Jesus the son of Maryam--peace be upon them--none of us will be returned to this life; we will only be resurrected in the next phase of life/the Day of Judgement and the Afterlife). Correct me if I'm wrong.

And what ends did the king and *Jet Li's characters seek? Good question. Hint: "Our Land" is not it. If it were, Jet Li would have offered his services to the king. If it were, the king would have asked Jet Li to join his army as some special fighting guy. But no. That's not how it went down. I'm utterly confounded by this.

We are also shown characters who are patient and constant in their striving. Striving towards what? "Our Land?" No.

Some seek revenge from the king and his men for what they've done to their people. (It can be argued, however, that vindictive tendencies are subject to psychological hedonism.) Some seek to serve a cause in order to feel emotional security (as Jet Li's character did for a time). Unfortunately, this is different from saying that someone is seeking a cause. Seeking to be of service (without consideration of cause, for our purposes) is really a naturally occurring phenomenon worth studying.

There is also another phenomenon that is best understood with respect to group psychology. I won't go into depth about this, but it is clearly observable that individuals behave differently when they strongly identify with a group. With the support and encouragement of a group, the individual feels as though s/he can accomplish greater goals. Unfortunately, in the process, s/he is vulnerable to becoming blinded to personal opinion and perhaps instinctual objections. This can be dangerous. But as we see at the end of Hero (I'm totally giving the ending away, so read not further if you have yet to see the movie) Jet Li's character, alone before the king, realizes his own reasons to not assassinate him. So at last, by compunction of conscience, his blind striving is conquered. Of course, the king permitting him to be executed and then having him buried as a hero is too paradoxical for me to think about--so I won't.

Anyway, this is yet another movie that teaches Islamix that striving for the Sake of Allah is the only solution. Everyone lacking His Guidance is lost. My conclusion: Quenton Tarantino needs
a) Islam
b) Therapy--suicide is not a solution buddy


*I kept saying "Jet Li's character" because his character's name is The Nameless Assassin. Yeah, I know. Complications. :)


Samira said...

Someday I will learn to focus on one idea (i'A). Until then, I guess they will wander and be ramblings of my mind.

Nandita said...

Hero. is teh sweet.
Bamboo is pretty good tasting as well.
Donde esta su miensa?

Okay, salaams.

Wanksta said...

msg my brother on facebook for his paper on 'The Last Samurai.' he Islamically analyzes the flick.