Skip to main content

Shun the Empire of the Sun

Spoiler Alert : If you read this, watching the film may bore you. Yer warned.

There are only very few war movies that I did not like. Empire of the Sun is one of them. The war movie directed by none other than Steven Spielberg is set in Shanghai, China during the World War II. It basically documents the life of an young English boy under Japanese occupation.

The movie is so bizarre right from the beginning that I often wonder what got into the head of the director. An overly irritating English boy is shown as living the life of extreme luxury while China is being devoured by Japan. So far so good, as that was pretty much what happened in real life as well. But after the Japanese take over the city things become more and more ridiculous. Starting from American adventurers in occupied China to the boy turning into a surrender freak! You would often wonder if the boy is just plain childish or retarded, or God forbid, both!

Empire of the Sun poster
An innocent boy's chronicle of life under foreign occupation. Or is it?

The most impossible scenes are shown one after the other in rapid succession. After the boy is transferred to an internment camp, he suddenly acquires a penchant for looting and profiteering! He would run a ponzi scheme of sorts and earn favours. He would also one fine day be welcomed at an American camp for a daring that would make you laugh at the ignorance.

Some of the scenes do make a mark. The atomic explosion at a distance, the last drink of the Kamikaze warriors, the failed take off of a Kamikaze pilot, the stoic look of the boy. But it was shocking to see an child remain the same age from 1938 to 1945, especially when he was apparently around 12 in the beginning! The acting performance of Christiane Bale was extraordinary though.

The story of the film was supposedly nice and believable, but the direction, in my opinion left a lot to be desired. After watching the movie I felt like WTF! Especially coming from such superb directors, the final piece made me wonder why I wasted two and half hours on such crap.

Popular posts from this blog

Burhan Wani – The man and his mission

Burhan Wani – The man and his mission The death of a young ‘hero’? On the 8th of July, Burhan Muzaffar Wani died in the Valley of Kashmir. Thousands poured out on the streets to commemorate his services to the movement that he had come to symbolize of late. The relative calm of the region was shattered with curfews, killings and allegations of human rights abuses. His father was proud for the services his son had offered in the name of their faith, convinced that he would go to Heaven. Amidst all this, the romantic ideals of a young boy, just off his teens began to shake up the youth of the entire country, both in and beyond India. There is a lot of unrest in the Kashmir Valley recently, especially in the aftermath of the death, nay execution of Burhan. All of this is not unexpected in any way. In fact, this was foreseen. Even his glorification, his elevation to the status of a martyr in the service of Islam does not come as a surprise to me.
There is a section of the media and a sig…

Letters, open and counters

In this Information age, the opinions of people are shaped by the discourse that happens in the media – the newspapers, the internet forums, the videos that are shot, the letters, open letters and counter letters. A vast majority of them are full of half-truths and that is not surprising as every side has skeletons to hide. The problem arises when a gullible population (read Indians) digest these printed words both offline and on as the ultimate Truth without question. Secondary sources and even imaginary accounts becomes Gospels to be used to shut anyone who dares to oppose the mainstream discourse.
The Quint has recently published an open letter by a veteran soldier of the Indian Army named Major Gaurav. They apparently waited for a counter to that which was furnished by a Wasim Khan, a ‘Kashmiri’ who now is settled in Mumbai and runs a successful media agency (not surprising). So before we go into braindead blaming attempts, let’s analyze the two pieces one by one and check the m…

The Man and the Qu'ran in Bangalore

I stayed for 3 years in Bangalore. There were places I loved in the city, places that I liked and a few places that I hated. There were also places about which I cannot make up any opinion at all.

Among them was the Jumma Masjid on the Dispensary road. This is not to be confused with the more famous Trust by the same name that is close by.

The area around is always busy and the commercial street is also close. The markets were always full of customers, shopkeepers sold exotic items. Just a few hundred meters and you could also visit the markets selling lots of stolen goods, though the shopkeepers often deny that and then wink to show that they were bluffing. It is a fun place for a man to be in, a bit scary for many women, except in a crowd.

Anyway, I always found the place inviting in a peculiar way, the nearby Salafi mosque preaching the evils of other religions, the stench of the urinals, the cheap stolen goods in the market, the prostitutes on the road, the hustle and bustle of t…