cinema cinema:english Essay

Thanos’ Quest & Why Our Heroes Need Rest


Somewhere in deep space, Thor gets his skull crushed by someone who manages to make the God of Thunder weep.

This someone also gamely allows Hulk to have a go at him for a while before reducing the Green Giant to his original self.

With his huge hands this someone also touches Tony Stark’s head , like how a father would after a mock fight; shaking the internals of the Iron Man.

Yes yes, this someone is Thanos of Titan; the true hero of Avengers: Infinity War in which our much loved heroes of the past decade scamper around HIM with no clue on how to save the universe (their usual core competence)

I have long lamented on the lack of true evil in these films which will will act as counter weight to true goodness; but Thanos is something else altogether: he is committed, he has focus and above all he is calm.

Scarily calm.


The power that comes to reside in him (humongous power of all the infinity stones) does not consume him, does not whisk him away from his cause and more importantly does not make him mad. Even when he is just using a neighboring planet as a slingshot.

The stones and the gauntlet makes Thanos almost zen like, a man with a vision willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. Yes, we have the hero’s arc here (for a super-villain).


Let’s now come to cause itself

The film unfolds through the course of Thanos’ hop-on hop-off tour of the universe in his pursuit of balance through destruction, our heroes like ox-peckers perched on a charging hippopotamus stretching themselves to save half the universe.

Infinity War changes most things about traditional heroes and flips the narrative by making the villain the hero of the film, dwarfing all the build-up that the MCU had done till now, to the point that the collective gasps that were heard in the theatre was in a way a reflection of ‘How are they going to beat this guy?’

Superhero movies tend to leave things upbeat when before calling curtains, but here too Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely bring out the inner doubts and whether the good guys are good enough?

The mightiest heroes (or what’s left of them) sure do look like they need some time to figure out what to do next.

I guess the producers will revert to the usual MCU beat and I’m not too worried about that.

But the story of Thanos by itself is a satisfying start to a devastating end.


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