When the film fades to black, it became our generation’s Star Wars. You can argue the opposite but decades from now, after you grieve the film, you will look back and realize that it changed the entire pop culture landscape.
This success is amidst the saturation that flooded the media and the ADHD mindset that took over us. For close to 3 hours, we sat with a gasp at the cusp of an utter thrill as the story we follow all these years culminate in front of us. The triumph is not without pain as these characters have interwoven into our lives, questioning our own morality and ethics. In most moments, we feel the pain amidst the cascading chaos and gruesome explosions. As the classic pages turn into a cadence of motions and scenes, we cradle the filmmaker’s brilliance in wordsmith as they encompass all ages.
This movie is one of the rare ones that effectively explored the themes of sacrifice and death, a pledge of oath and duty, morals and loved ones. The penultimate theme that everyone loses someone. The magic of this film is with its contemporary overarches as humanity itself is undergoing a historical shift in terms of our ideals. What we saw with this movie is the culmination of all genres and not a mere superhero movie. The poetic and ominous mission of the villain and the virtue of Steve Rogers to not trade lives give this film high stakes that we have not seen since The Dark Knight.
This movie asks the basic question of, “What do you stand for”?
Infinity War has overtones that deal with fantastical heroism, glorious spectacle, and classic good vs evil. But the undertones are more pronounced and yet overlooked. Poignant and subtle emotionality set in space among gods. If this is not a Marvel movie, it could have won an Oscar. The narrative spans years of story development across multiple creative engines, that’s unprecedented cinematic feat.
Let’s explore the overarching themes:
Being a god and vulnerable
As the movie rolls in, you hear the distress call that is ominous. Even if you’re a god, you’re not immune to mortality. May it be your own death or the people you care about. From the start, Thor lost his adopted brother as he struggles for his own survival. Completely helpless and dire. Peter Quill pulled the trigger as he intended to kill Gamora and keep his promise. It all entailed with trust as he was unaware of the complete context. The Vision making the ultimate sacrifice even at a cost of causing a lifetime of trauma and pain to Scarlet Witch.
Politics in the universe is as worse.
Thanos is arguably one of the best and well-rounded villains in contemporary cinema. His motivation is not merely malevolent but philosophical. Not just but he has made every effort to make his case convincing and rationale. He believes in an idea that can bring change to the universe, then he executed it. He is an overlord and a tyrant who is willing to be vulnerable when necessary and yield his power at the right moment. For him, the universe has an economic dilemma, a supply and demand issue. His solution is not political but rather philosophical and mythological. Stabilize the supply by killing half of the universe, a complex premise resolved in a simple and yet consequential snap.
Thanos’ primal motivator to bring balance to the universe and make it a better place is a noble cause, albeit the murdering ways akin to a religious warrior. In a world that thrives in defining what is politically correct, this film refused that idea and deconstructed a deep-seeded intent.