Last night I was watching Kungfu Panda-2, again. This time in 2D and in the comfort of my house. I had first seen the movie on the big screen in 3D, more than 6 months ago. But the movie is so much fun that I didn’t get bored even in the second watch, I did miss the 3D effects though. Jack Black is so good with his voice modulation, and the many expressions that his dialogue delivery can convey is amazing.
Kungfu Panda was one of the few movies that was worthy of a sequel. And the sequel was as good as, if not better than, the original. There was a definite story backed by a good narrative and fine dialogues. Even the comic quotient was very well done, it wasn’t forced into the story.
The story has a Harry Potter like prophecy, where a ‘warrior of black & white’ is supposed to end Shen’s rule. Shen, the peacock, was disbanded by his father for having evil aspirations. But he was not going to give up so easily. He took the path of destruction and anyone who would come in his way would be knocked off. Po, the dragon warrior, was out there protecting the valley from Shen. All was going well, when suddenly the flares and the fire around Po brought back old memories to me.
What was unfolding before my eyes was Zanjeer! I am not sure why this did not strike me while watching the movie first time around. I was a little surprised that both movies had so much in common.
A very long time ago, our beloved inspector Vijay was in the lookout for Teja to end his criminal activities. Teja was a cause of concern for the police and a threat to civillian life. Similarly, Shen’s ambitions were big and his actions went uncontrolled.
Po and Vijay, both, are haunted by a nightmare. A bad dream kept waking them up from sweet sleep to harsh awakening; and they kept fighting it off. Both these souls were searching for inner peace. As master Shifu says very early in the movie, some attain inner peace by meditating while others get it by going through pain in their hearts. They both had to come to terms with their past, the hard way.
Inner peace is something we all look for. Its the stimulus that helps us cope with vagaries of life. Unkept promises, unfulfilled dreams, unachieved targets and many such unresolved issues can take away our peace. So, inspite of the clear sky we are unable to see due to mist in our eyes and cloud-cover on our minds. And then there is a moment when all these things come back to bite us. That’s when we need inner peace the most.
Yes, it was a fiery night. The lights of Diwali and the surrounding fireworks had burnt the pages of Vijay’s childhood and left him an orphan. Similarly, Po was adopted by Zeng, the goose, when a night of fire and fury had left him homeless. Both burned in the same flame and carried the pain of separation.
Po and Vijay grew up to be brave fighters and big hearted protectors. When Po and Vijay were out there, fighting their enemy, both did not know that they also had a personal score to settle. But the audience did. Unbeknownst to them, they walked into the lion’s den and challeneged the king of the jungle. Po was ably helped by Famous Five and Khan was protecting Vijay. But in the moment of truth, it was just them against their adversary.
And in one sudden moment of flash, when they find replies to those unanswered questions and when all those mysteries become clear, they attain inner peace; just like that. Once that happens, they become unstoppable!
How much of Zanjeer did I see in Kungfu Panda-2? Apparently a lot! Not sure if you agree with me, but if someone were to remake Zanjeer sometime in the future, then this would be an ideal blue-print for it. In fact, this qualifies as a good enough remake for me. It neither tarnishes the original visuals of BigB nor makes me cringe; in fact I can happily have both in my movie collection without having to swear under my breath as we do after watching most remakes these days.