18. Thor (Cinema)

This may contain hints at spoilers. And below the break actual spoilers.

Some films get lucky with their release date, others are unfortunately pre-empted by real events. Imagine if you will what would have happened if next weekend was the release date of Morgan Spurlock’s “Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden”. But such is the risk when making topical films like Spurlock did there, or indeed Kenneth Brannagh has done here with Thor.

Now hold, you say. What can be topical about a film made of a 45 year old comic based on thousand year old Norse myths. Everything and nothing. Now I am not saying that Thor has been made to specifically stoke up conspiracy theories around Osama Bin Laden’s death or to throw additional fuel to the fire of the birthers in the US. Its just one of the many readings that can be teased from this dense narrative (you may also read dense how you would like). For the record let it state that as a blockbuster Thor is lots of fun (especially in 2D), having the right level of comedy leavens what might otherwise be a stodgy brew. But you may also need to consider that the best character in it is also one which has no origin in the original material at all (take a bow Kat Dennings and your snarky one liners). Spoilers from here on:

The exact political and constitutional role of the monarchy upon Asgard is never made crystal clear, though a mixture of tyranny and benevolent dictatorship seems the clearest reading (since tyranny and benevolent dictatorship are usually the same thing from a different viewpoint). What is clear however is that despite it constantly being said otherwise, Tony Hopkins’ Odin is prone to making a number of bad decisions. The worst of which may be causing a succession crisis by kidnapping an enemies child and bringing them up as your own. The fact that nobody knows this, or seems to care, is fine but I am sure there will be Asgardian right wingers who question the lack of obvious pregnancy of Freya, and the convenient birth of their second child directly after the final battle with the baddies. And maybe they will put two and two together and suggest that the aspirant to the throne is not eligible for the position due to
a) not being born in Asgard
b) not being the “correct” race.

Obviously this second one has no allegory at all to similar birther arguments in the US at the moment. Though they may see some parallels in how, to gain the love of his new subjects this new leader sets up a convoluted plan to murder the leader of the enemy at the most convenient time. Its almost as if it is all set up merely as a PR exercise, rather than a legitimate piece of foreign policy, merely to win the crowd over. Because that it what evil, illegitimate leaders need to do to cement their strength in government.

Just saying like.

Film 2Oh!! is an attempt to write about every film I have seen this year which is really quite tricky. This year I have seen 97 films, written about 18