2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the iconic movies that figures in all the must-see and best movies lists. I watched it in 1981 because a friend of mine recommended it . It turned that this friend was pulling a fast one on me, and I was the only person in the whole movie theater. So I sat alone at the center of the hall to enjoy the movie. I could barely follow spoken English then, especially when spoken with a non-Indian accent. (Or, I should say, when spoken without an Indian accent). The lack of English didn’t matter in the beginning part of the movie, of course. But then I got progressively and completely baffled by the dancing colors and stuff.

But I don’t give up on intellectual challenges that easily. I am still trying to solve that physics problem that floored me in JEE ’83, and I’m closing in.

Determined to figure out what in the world was going on in 2001: A Space Odyssey, I bought the DVD in 2000. But whenever I tried watching it, I always fell asleep within the first ten or twenty minutes. I had no idea why all the critics were going goo-goo gah-gah over the movie. With the advent of Google and Wikipedia, you don’t really have to understand and solve such conundrums. You just have to look it up. So I recently looked up what the heck it the movie meant. To my dismay, all I could find were those condescending write-ups, saying things like, “Well, if you have to ask, sorry, you are too stupid to understand the move. Go watch Die Hard.”

It finally it dawned on me — I just had to read the book. These bozos who try to make you feel like an idiot saying you are not sophisticated enough to understand the movie — they have all read the book, trust me. Once you read the book, and then watch the movie, you will understand what those apes were jumping around for.

2001: A Space Odyssey, the movie, is a kind of video-book, if you will, similar to an audiobook. It is a straight forward retelling of the story. Of course, it is extremely well done, but the movie not imaginative enough to stand and tell the story on its own. So may be all these goo-goo gah-gah reviewers are just intellectual snobs. Or by intellectual malakas, as some of my old friends may call them.

Could of points of clarification:

  1. Die Hard is a pretty good movie.
  2. I will solve that JEE ’83 problem, if it is that last thing I do, without resorting to Google.