When I watched Jurassic Park as a child, I was equal parts fascinated and terrified — I could hardly go to bed without thinking about the dinosaurs and being scared out of mind. It's still one of my fondest memories from my childhood so when the release of Jurassic World kept getting delayed, it took an emotional toll on me.
I waited and waited for the fourth part, like Devdas waited for Paro but instead of alcohol, I drowned my sorrow in chai and cake. Unlike Devdas though, we had a happy ending: After a decade of playing hard to get, Jurassic World emerged like a phoenix from the ashes, ready to tear apart that box office.
So imagine my shock when I realize halfway through the movie that it is more or less your quintessential Bollywood masala movie.
Not to say that it was bad. I'd give it a solid 4/5 rating but we all know Bollywood movies tend to push the envelope when it comes to unrealistic storylines.
The story takes place at Isla Nublar, an island off the coast of Costa Rica, where the dinosaur resort Jurassic World is located. Things go awry when a genetically-modified creature called the Indominus Rex escapes, killing everything in its path for sport.
It is up to Velociraptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and operations manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) to save the latter's nephews and the rest of the tourists from this hybrid monster.
Don't say I didn't warn you about leaving your incredulity at the cinema door.
Here are 5 ways in which Jurassic World is basically a Bolly flick:
1) The main characters of the movie may as well be immortal
The first time Owen escaped Indominus, I breathed a sigh of relief: Pratt's looking really good in the movie so I obviously didn't want to say bye to him so early. The second time he escaped, I was still impressed. By the fourth time, I couldn't help but roll my eyes and by the seventh, I was so done.
Indominus is supposed to be a highly superior and intelligent animal. How does it just let you two go each time? Doesn't even take off one limb? I don't buy it!
|Pratt chooses to hide under a car...from a dinosaur that can sense thermal energy. —Still from the trailer
Maybe I'm watching too much Game of Thrones, (which is so realistic, I know) but I was a little disappointed.
Jurassic World reminded me of Bollywood flick Gunday in which Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh just keep escaping unscathed yet playing with death like they're invincible. Sure, there were no giant prehistoric beasts in that movie but it's the same principle that is showcased in almost every single Bollywood movie.
|If you put your mind to it, you can outrun anything...or so these movies claim. A still from Gunday (top) and one from Jurassic World (bottom)
Either way, props to Pratt for riding a motorcycle through a jungle without struggling even a little bit. I have a hard time just driving on roads in Pakistan traffic but hey. More power to you for going offroading!
2) Women always end up where they're 'supposed' to
The movie starts off with Claire as a career-oriented woman, who's too busy managing the resort to even show her nephews around for a day. She even struggles to remember their respective ages at one point after they go missing!
|After attendance at the resort begins to dip, Claire comes up with the idea of a hybrid dinosaur as an attraction —Photo courtesy: powpilot.com
However, by the end of it, the park is in ruins so she has no job; instead, she's a different woman who has seen the error of her ways and now has a boyfriend and new-found maternal instinct.
|All work and no play make Deepika a sad girl. Forget it, I'll just get married! —Photo courtesy: firstpost.com
Just like in Bachna Ae Haseeno, Deepika Padukone portrays a headstrong and ambitious woman who doesn't want to settle down when Ranbir Kapoor proposes. That is, until she realizes that he is the sun and her world revolves around him and goes running back into his arms. It's always an either or — apparently, women can't do both. Eventually, they fall into the roles society has set out for them and that's the injustice Jurassic World does to Claire's character.
3) The raptors turn against Owen, only to find the right path RIGHT at the last moment
Anyone who has seen other movies from the Jurassic Park franchise knows that Robert Muldoon taught us to fear the raptors, not to befriend them. These are wild creatures that just can't be tamed, but that is lost on the creators of this movie.
They turn on their trainer Owen for a bit because they share DNA with Indominus but eventually, right in time, they realize that Owen's the Alpha because you know, dinosaurs are such loyal pets and march on to destroy the mutant rex.
|Owen, with his pack of raptors. Who wears a leather jacket vest on an island anyway?
We see Owen controlling them to an extent but that's not even the most unbelievable part: Vincent D’Onofrio's character wants to use these beasts as military weapons! Their one and only trainer is struggling to keep them in check and you want them to go prancing around war zones?
If anyone suggested to the ISI that the winning ticket to end a war is some sort of extinct animal, they'd put you in a mental hospital so fast, you won't know what hit you.
4) Claire outruns numerous dinosaurs in 4 inch heels and a skirt
|The infamous shoes —Photo courtesy: hellogiggles.com
Her sleek hair, at least, became frizzy by the end of the movie and if it hadn't, I would have been really mad.
But seriously: no woman can not only run but outrun dinosaurs in 4-inch stilettos. Unless you're telling me even Claire's a genetically modified being, I refuse to accept it.
Even when Owen mocks her outfit, all she does is unbutton and tie her shirt up in a supposedly sexy jungle girl kind of manner. She still doesn't part with the shoes!
Katrina Kaif pretty much did the same in the cat and mouse chase that was the movie Bang Bang. And no, this is not just jealousy talking because I can't even walk in heels, let alone run; it's simple physics!
|The hair transformation -- Before (L) and after (R)
Did I mention Claire was also wearing a pencil skirt?
5) In the midst of a vicious hybrid dinosaur running wild, the two main actors find the time to romance one another.
Nothing says YOLO like a ginormous flock of Pterodactylus hovering over the park, right? Obviously there's still time to look deeply into each other's eyes and kiss, even though you barely know each other. Running around the jungle together really is what forms the foundation for most meaningful relationships.
|The audience doesn't see their relationship develop much —Photo courtesy: Herald.ie
In a lot of Bolly movies, we don't see how the couple at the center actually falls in love; we are told they are in love or it is implied and that's that. Same goes for Owen and Claire. We see them battling it out with dinosaurs for two hours and ten minutes and at the end of the movie, they share a kiss and we find out they're now a thing. Okay, great.
All in all, Jurassic World is obviously not about the survival of the fittest; it's about survival of the prettiest, the luckiest. It's predictable, cheesy, visually enticing and you will love every second of it!
|Look, it's the dinosaur equivalent of Seaworld!