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The Real Phantom Menace

Posted by Jason on

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We do not see their faces yet their voices are strong. They are the "Phantom Menace". Those privileged few; those envied by all; those who saw the private screening of perhaps the most anticipated film of all time.

They left the theater that evening with battle cries of discouragement screaming outward. Too much kiddy stuff! Too much CGI! Too dragged out! I haven't yet seen Episode I and will mot comment on the film itself. My problem lies along a different path. I've read the reviews and the responses to them. I am most disheartened.

They claim the movie is too dragged out, too slow at times. One reviewer said he was bored and looking at his watch. Does this mean that there is, dare I say, character development and perhaps a story in this film? I realize that we are all used to the non-stop, action-driven, eye-candy of movies such as the recent no-brainer, The Matrix, but storytelling is at the heart of every great film. It is the necessary component most often overlooked in movies today.

Once again my main concern is not with The Phantom Menace. I have no doubt that Mr. Lucas will provide a riveting story full of emotion and conflict. It lies with the reviewers, and by extension a great many people out there in the world. The problem most stressed by the current stock of reviewers is the Kiddy Factor. "I'm not seven years old any more", was a continuous theme throughout both the reviews and the responses. Children are the inspiration of the world, the hope, and the future. They represent the magical, the excitement, the innocence, and the freedom. They wake up every morning with wonderment, knowing that a new day is upon them, a new adventure to claim.

Who wouldn't want to return to that moment in time when all was fresh? Why can't we find ways of making that which surrounds us new and exciting? People do grow up and must take on responsibility, however, there is no need to lose the child-like enthusiasm which makes life magical. You have been taught what is acceptable behavior for an adult by the society in which we live. "You must unlearn what you have learned".

Wake up every morning and recognize the chance to make or do something special. We live in a world full of beauty and wonder. Explore. Experience. "Life surrounds us, penetrates us". Look around you. Take all of it in. Be compassionate, loving. Feel. Enjoy.

Yes this will be a movie for the child in all of us. We must thank Mr. Lucas, we must praise him for allowing those jaded to return to their magical childhood, if only for two hours.