Monday, August 12, 2013

Ship of Theseus

A movie that disillusions you but still leaves you feeling like something wasn’t altogether right about it either was what the Ship of Theseus did to me.

After exiting the movie theatre I was still wondering about the events that had left me moved and the questions that it had raised but more importantly I was amazed by everyone else’s excitement or maybe it was their indifference towards it that left me a little overwhelmed.

So about the movie, it is a combination of three stories into one with organ donation as a link between them. The movie starts with the story of Aaliya who is a photographer even though she lost her eyesight due to a cornea infection. Not only is she good at what she does but also manages a lot of things which I think even I would hesitate a little before doing, like crossing a main street just to click two people arguing or walk on rocky terrain and still be able to identify the various individual sounds. She undergoes a cornea transplant which restores her eyesight but leaves her disoriented in terms of her photography. The strange part, as a friend pointed out, was that she didn’t take much time to adjust to the gift of eyesight. She just delves right into her earlier works!

The second story showed the life of Maitreya, a monk who was trying to save lab animals by filing a PIL and arguing to provide them with better living conditions. He is shown as a person who is willing to ask some uncomfortable questions, fighting the beliefs of his own religion and believing that all life is sacred. But he is diagnosed with liver cirrhosis. At first he refuses all treatment because he knows they have been tested on animals, thus choosing to die for his cause. But after a lot of suffering, he decides that “his life’s purpose and mission aren’t over yet”, and chooses to get hospitalised and in this process robs a worthy person of an organ.

The third story revolves around stockbroker Navin, who just had his kidney transplant. He is a typical businessman who in not interested in knowing about anything except money making. By “chance”, he happens to overhear someone wailing in the hospital and finds out about the illegal organ transplants. After this we see his transformation from an uncaring person to someone who goes a long way to get justice for someone he doesn’t even know, literally. It was a little too much of cliché for my taste.

The whole movie was beautifully shot and directed, although I did have some difficulty in moving from one story to another as they had no clear cut endings.

The whole story comes together at the end when the connection between all three people is revealed, in what seems the most apt way so much that I can’t think of a better ending.

I really liked the second part of the movie till the last part, especially the banter between Navin and Charvaka, the young lawyer who was helping him with the PIL. Some of the discussions left me introspecting my own ideas and principles.

I just wish that the second part would have ended differently, the monk shouldn’t have given up on his resolve. I know that sounds bad but it is the eternal debate, being practical and pragmatic or being an idealist.

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