Ridley Scott made a bloody good movie once. It’s name was “Alien”. Scary cat-face. A terrifying ship-horn. A sense of impending doom. Claustrophobia. Excellent use of light. And of silence. Icky jumping cauliflowers that eat faces. Organic dildos that penetrate. But from inside. More gooey stuff splattering in two minutes than two hours of a Japanese bukkake video.
“Alien” scared the shit out of me, each time I saw it. It affected me in such a visceral way that everytime I ate a egg-mutton roll during Durga Pujo at Maddox Square, I expected that alien head to come bursting out of my stomach and say “Guess whose meat it was that you ate. And guess who that egg batter came from.” Yes it was that scary. The food that is.
Then James Cameron took the Alien mythology and did something miraculous. A sequel almost as good as the original. It was the second most scary thing he would give us, after of course Celine Dion’s “I just got castrated” warbling that made my heart want to stop immediately. Okay make it the third scariest thing. Titanic was quite the devil too.
After that, things went downhill for those slimy things with elongated helmets. Two more sequels were made whose sole reason for existence was to puncture the wallets of devoted fans with their famous alien dollar-hunting claw. Finally, the franchise reached a nadir with Aliens vs Predators, when the mighty Aliens were humiliated, depicted as they were as dumb hunting targets used by Predators, those Robin-Uthappa-like things with Yannick Noah dreadlocks. I never bought the premise. Not for a second. These Predators were such dumbasses that they got out-witted by Arnold through the simple expedient of him taking a mud-bath. Them hunting those super-porn-stars that were the Aliens. Baah. This is like Ravindra Jadeja hitting six sixes off a Dennis Lilee over in Perth. Impossible.
So when I heard that Ridley Scott was “rebooting” the franchise, I was excited. After all, he would not pee on his own baby. Especially when that baby could pee back acid.
Of course he wouldn’t.
No. I was wrong. He would.
The movie goes off-kilter in the first scene itself. After two minutes of “Look it’s 3 D panoramic” shots, we are shown a really muscular male mermaid drinking some black liquid that looks like hair-extract from Hirsute Mission Impossible Kapoor. Nothing good happens to people who drink black stuff in a opening sequence of a horror movie. This we know.
Things never get going after that tepid opening. Fassbender mopes around like a officious butler but that glint in his eyes surely makes him the best thing about “Prometheus”. Charlize Theron’s character is horribly written and one of her sequences with the ship’s captain (she picks him up for some sexy-time) seems to have been crafted by the same guy who wrote the script for Rajesh Khanna’s “Wafaa”. Every set-piece is predictable. You know who is going to die and in which order.
And finally, the “twist”. Which is as surprising as finding that the Congress Party has elected a person with the surname Gandhi as its leader.
Yes yes I got it. “Prometheus” is supposed to be deep. But Tarkvosky, Ridley Scott is not. Neither is he Kubrick.
Here is the thing. He need not have been.
Ridley Scott is a pretty awesome director. He gave the world the iconic “Thelma and Loise” ending. He brought to screen the visionary “Blade Runner”, whose “All these memories will be lost in time, like tears in the rain. Time to die” Rutger Haur death sequence still brings a lump to my throat. So did the “I am home” ending of “Gladiator” till Zee squeezed out every bit of pathos out of the background score by playing it for every time someone got eliminated in one of their reality shows.
You see, Ridley Scott knew how things worked. Once upon a time.
Which is perhaps why, as a long-standing fan-boy of those drooling bastards, I expected the world from the Alien reboot. What instead I got was a patchwork of philosophical “themes”—-Man’s search for answers, the essence of humanity, man’s desire to create in its own image, (Shelly used “Modern Prometheus” as the sub-title of “Frankenstein, kind of like Baaz–a Bird in Danger) and Charlize Theron’s behind, none of which were fledged out enough to elevate “Prometheus” to the grandeur its name engenders.
Prometheus you Greek hunk. The Gods didnt punish you for bringing fire to the humans. They punished you for putting your name to this legacy-destroyer.
I hope your stomach gets penetrated by an Alien-mini-head. Woh bhi peeche se. Angootha lagake.