View Full Version : Hollywood Ballyhoo

12 January 2009, 11:47 PM
In this thread we may discuss the story and action lines of Hollywood movies that subvert history, culture, religion, spirituality, nationality and human values. I have used the term Hollywood here to represent the movie industry all over the world including India. Members may discuss the negative aspects of films they have seen.

The decadence of faith, culture and values in this Kali Yuga is more evident in most of the Hollywood movies than in real life. Perhaps these movies are the trendsetters for the modern life that scarcely treats anything as sacred.

The film 'Timeline (2003)': Subverting history

This film is criticized to be a poor adaptation of the popular Michael Crichton novel Timeline.

The very idea is horrible and repulsive: this film seeks to 'rewrite' history through the fascinatingly absurd concept of bodily time travel using physical science.

Real history: In a typical episode of private warfare on April 4, 1357 during the Hundred Years War between the English and the French, Sir Oliver de Vannes and his army captured and burnt the village Castlegard (an area in the present day France). The French, under the leadership of Commander Arnaut de Cervole, battled with the English Lord and his soldiers and forced them to retreat to their fortress of La Roque. Arnaut's sister Lady Claire was captured in the battle and Oliver hanged her from the battlements in full public view to demoralize the French. This barbaric act infuriated the French so much that they fought back with valor, captured the fortress of La Roque and killed Oliver.

Hollywood history: The film Timeline seeks to 'rewrite' this historical event thus:

• An archaeologist-professor discovers the remnants of the village Castlegard in his excavations in the present day France. He teams up with the scientific researchers of ITC and travels back to the time of the year 1357 for an onsite study. He is captured by the English, but manages to send a message seeking help in an old parchment, wrapping it over his bifocal lens. These articles are promptly 'discovered' by his research students in an excavation.

• The employees of ITC and the professor's students organize a rescue mission and a team of people travel back in time, only to be right in the midst of the ongoing battle at Castlegard. Two of the teammates are killed by the English soldiers. Andre Marek, a devoted student of the professor, and his remaining teammates are saved by a French woman; Marek takes her to safety across the river when they are pursued by the English soldiers. As he lands on the other bank he finds that the woman is none other than Lady Claire, sister of Commander Arnaut, under whose leadership the French are fighting back. After safely delivering the Lady, Marek proceeds to return to his teammates.

• Meantime, Kate Erickson, another devoted student and Chris, the professor's son discover a tunnel in the village monastery, discovering the real structure of what they had dug up in future. Commander Arnaut at the same time seeks refuge in the tunnel after his sister was captured. As he finds Kate and Chris, he first thinks them to be English spies and that they trapped him in the tunnel, proceeds to attack them, but in the melee they discover the opening of the tunnel to the outside world.

• Andre Marek finds out that Lady Claire has been captured and is taken to the battlements to be hanged. He manages to enter the fort even as the French fight a fierce battle to capture the fort. Finally, as the French forces capture the fort and kill Oliver, Marek manages to free Lady Claire from the gallows, thus 'changing the course of the history', but he loses a ear in a fight. Marek also kills in the fight, his own colleague, who travelled back in time earlier, was stranded and managed to become a commander under Oliver.

• As the professor and his teammates start on their future homeward journey, Marek chooses to remain in the medieval world. He later takes Lady Claire to England and then marries her, thus preposterously corrupting the events of history.

• At the end of their lives, Marek prepares a sarcophagus with the inscription, "To my friends who survive me. I have chosen a wonderful life. Andre Marek with his beloved wife, Claire. Died 1382." This sarcophagus was first discovered by Marek himself and later dug up by Kate! Thus Andre Marek, who was born in 1971 and died in 1382, successfully managed to 'rewrite and change the course' of a historical event of the Hundred years War.

Absurdities in the name of technology and history

• The very idea of physical time travel is absurd. Although concepts such as 'teleporting', 'wormholes', and 'time machines' are part of popular science fiction and scientific research, man can never travel physically in time for the simple but categorical truth that he did not exist physically in the time he seeks to travel.

• The idea of people fighting with the people of the past, getting killed by them, killing some of them, marrying a woman there and living with her for life is ridiculous. It is incredibly funny in this film to see paper-thin, two-dimensional Hollywood heroes fighting with real and mighty English soldiers and kill some of them.

• The idea of disassembling human DNA streams and trasmitting them to another time where they are reassembled to get back the time-travelled human without losing the soul is hopeless; and the height of irritation is that the travel back to the present in time is programmed in a talisman worn round the neck and that one such device can transport the entire team.

• How can a man (Andre Marek) discover in the present time the sarcophagus he made in the past, and that after his death? Marek discovers a (silly looking) stone carving of a husband and wife during his excavation. The wife holds the hand of her husband who had lost one ear. Later on, Andre Marek travels back to the time of the Castlegard battle, loses a ear, discovers it was him in the sarcophagus, marries Lady Claire and then writes this, his own sarcophagus for his teammates to rediscover it!

It would have been a lot more credible, if the film had presented the professor and his students as actual characters in the village of Castlegard who took part in the battle, died and were reborn in their present states. But then the idea of reincarnation is against the principles of Christianity, and the film might not sell well!


Fortunately, this film flopped at the box office, though it went under the banner of a popular director and cast. Wikipedia says that the film had a budget of 80 million US dollars, but grossed only 19 million, was 'panned by most critics'.

But if such movies become blockbusters and trend setters and end up in comic, fictional and maybe academic works, people might forget the real history for the movie history. With increasing success, the film people might seek to 'rewrite' history and 'define and shape up' culture in more abominable ways.

For example, the Church might take up the idea in their desparate bid to sell Jesus Christ and his religion. Films might be made that make missionaries time-travel to the period of Jesus Christ (assuming that he existed historically) and spread Christianity during the times before Jesus Christ and thus 'rewrite' the culture and history of those times.

Even if Jesus could not be located historically, they might prepare a modern man to act the role of Jesus and make him time-travel in the holy mission of the Christ, leaving Christian footprints in the sands of time.

I shudder to think of what these people can and would do, if they take up Hinduism and ancient Hindu history for their storylines.

30 September 2010, 07:47 AM
I tried to watch "The Love Guru" last night, feeling that it was my duty to actually watch it before denouncing it...but frankly, it was such a terrible movie that I couldn't bear to waste any more time on it.

I mean, it isn't even funny. It's just sad...and makes me feel sorry for Mike Myers that he has become such a parody of himself that he would actually do such a dreadfully dull and offensive movie.