No doubts. This is a Hollywood movie in this blog on Sri Vaishnavam. But Why? This critically acclaimed movie, I felt has a lot of things depicted that has been well said ages before in our Literature. Here go my thoughts on this movie and our culture.
So what are the things that remind me of Sri Vaishnavam in this movie? Realistic Dreams and how characters do not even realise they are in a dream. Most of the movie takes part in the dreams of the characters. The characters can go into dreams of other persons stealthily. And, only a few characters know that they are actually in a dream. The rest are unaware of the fact that they are in a dream and consider their dreams to be real. Bad guys enter the dreams of their targets and extract information from them, by making the targets believe that they are in the real world. But some targets subconscious mind is trained to defend itself against such intrusions. And time moves slowly in dream state when compared to real world. Finally layers of dreams – Characters go into dreams in their dreams, i.e. a dream inside a dream and very soon the line between reality & dream blurs alarmingly.
When characters die in their dreams, they come back to real life; This I felt is similar to us going back to Sriman Narayana after our lives here. This set a string of thoughts floating in me on how advanced concepts said in this movie has already been said ages ago in our culture. For instance how certain characters defend themselves against intrusions. Such a trained character has an imaginary army that defends against intruders. Similarily a Sri Viashnava who has unflinching faith in Sriman Narayana is always protected be it when he is in conscious or subconscious state. Characters do not realise they are in a dream and are living a fake life; just like us living in this materialistic world and wanting to live for long here. Some characters inspite of knowing they are in dream want to live on in their dreams so that they can be happy, only to see their world getting destroyed as the dreams begin to disintegrate. Reminds of ourselves who want to live here despite being aware of the unstableness of this world. Layers of dreams frighteningly reminds us of the truth. Some characters go into dreams inside their dreams and keep going deep into layers where there is a heavy possibility of them forgetting what reality is and wandering aimlessly in fake worlds. And finally Time spans; time in dream state moves slower than in real and gets slower down the layers – Something similar but opposite to time differences in various Lokas in our literature.
It’s really breathtaking to know that our fore-fathers in this country wrote about all these advanced ideas (and even more) thousands of years back, when the rest of the world had just hunters & gatherers.