Friday, April 05, 2013

When the dino came in 3D...

This happened 19 years back. We––Achan, Amma, Chinnu and yours truly––were in a theatre. All children waited with bated breath. The first thing that came to screen was a globe, slowly rotating. We were looking keenly to see whether there were any dinosaurs. Instead, alphabets came around the globe. “UNIVERSAL,” I read. The movie was “Jurassic Park”. 

I had seen that movie umpteen times, later in life. The park, the children and the tremors in the glass of water still fascinate, but nothing could match the experience I had years ago. Not until last week, when I walked in to see the dinos in 3D.

Officially, it was the 20th anniversary edition of Jurassic Park, which released in 1993. Not here. In India, the film came a good one year later, in 1994. And what a release! That was the biggest opening ever for a Hollywood movie in India. We just loved the dinos.

It was the pre cable-TV era. We were yet to get used to the graphics dished out by Hollywood. And it became the first ever Hollywood experience for an entire generation. For the first time, an English movie ran for more than 50 days in my small town. In bigger cities, Jurassic Park crossed 100 days.

Jurassic Park cast: then and now

There was an avalanche of change in the 19 years that followed. The children grew up, so did the Indian market for Hollywood movies. 

Like the dinos that tore open the park’s fence, Jurassic Park was a game changer. Many Hollywood studios followed suit. And in 1998, a huge ship sank in our screens, beating every Indian movie in that year’s box office collection. Interestingly, Titanic also released during a summer vacation.
From movies that came a year late, things have moved up pretty fast. Last May, The Avengers released in India before the US. This April, GI Joe did. Dubbed prints of Hollywood productions get premiere release these days. Video cassettes became history. Now, DVDs are facing extinction due to online piracy.

With time, or rather growing up, the charm of the movie has surely faded a bit, like the charm of the logo of Universal Studios. For quite a few years post Jurassic Park, the mere sight of the globe on screen would trigger in my young mind an anticipation of something as grand as Jurassic Park.

Now the child is no longer there, and the adult knows about Hollywood.

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