I grew up reading comic books and graphic novels among other forms of literature. Ever since I could read, Spider-Man and Batman were my heroes. I never missed an opportunity to catch up on the adventures of Spider-Man, Batman and the rest of that fascinating world I so wished to be a part of. I always say that comic books and graphic novels are underappreciated forms of literature. As I got older, people thought I’d grow past that ‘phase’ of reading make-believe about superhuman beings saving the world. But my passion for it only kept growing. And as I grew, to see all my favourite characters being showcased on the big screen, it meant the world to me. What a time to be alive! As I grew, these characters grew with me. For 10 years, we have witnessed the rise and evolution of superheroes to such an extent that they are now an integral part of pop culture, society and our lives. Most of society didn’t think (or even believe) that millions of us would grow so attached to these characters, clad in colourful attire, going about saving the day. That we’d form such a bond with them that we’d feel like we were also a part of their extraordinary lives. I’m one of those so-called ‘nerds’ or ‘geeks’ that proudly call themselves True Believers (coined by the late, great Stan Lee). To all my tribe, the ‘geeks’, the True Believers, who read and followed comic books, movies and all related media with such passion, out of the millions of people that flood the cinemas to watch Avengers Endgame, this movie is for you.
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This is not an emotionless summary of a movie by a movie critic looking to nitpick on its various demerits. This is a passionate soliloquy by a passionate fan, after going through the emotional ringer that is Endgame. A fan who still follows the various exploits of those superheroes to this day, and probably till my last day.
Avengers Endgame provided closure to Marvel fans after the unforeseen chaos that was Infinity War. After mourning the deaths of Spider-Man, Black Panther, Winter Soldier and so many more, fans had a year to theorize on how the Russos’ might steer things from there. I won’t be going into the finer details, seeing that many of you are yet to watch the film.
With the Avengers seemingly defeated, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Nebula (Karen Gillen) stranded in space, all is lost. No way out. Out of approximately 14 million possibilities as stated by Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), only one would result in victory over Thanos. That’s what happened right before Endgame.
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What happened during the film was euphoria, laughter, grief, sorrow, despair and hope all rolled into one. This movie was not carried by the effects-driven action sequences, as most people would belive. No. It was carried by the characters, their interactions, emotions, storylines. To be fair, the final showdown wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. What made it so good was the emotion that led up to that point. That was the reason the audience was so invested in this movie.
Infinity War told the story predominantly from Thanos’ point of view. He took the ‘hero’s journey’ of the film, outnumbering the Avengers in his quest for the Infinity Stones. Endgame shifted it back to the Avengers, who pulled off a daring, seemingly impossible heist with dire consequences.
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The performances in the film were superlative, and was one of the main reasons for its success. Robert Downey Jr. as usual, leads the way with his endless amount of quips, charisma and in this film, vulnerability. The rest of the cast — Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo slip right back in to their old selves and don’t miss a beat.
Avengers Endgame is 3 hours of pure fan service. A mix of nostalgia, shock, euphoria and finally an ending which couldn’t be bettered if anyone else tried.
It wasn’t the macho-heroism or the superhuman abilities that defined these heroes. It’s what they were willing to give up for the greater good that mattered. That’s what 10 years of world building by Marvel told us time and time again. The conclusion is probably the most perfect part of the film.
This is the end of an era. But it is also the beginning of a bright new future with endless possibilities (probably more than 14,000,605, at least). It was a privilege to watch the evolution of this universe, and the world cannot wait to see what Marvel has planned next.
By Aditya Sarma
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