Saturday, 7 November 2015

Jurassic world - “You are not in control here”

November's Film & Faith movie was Jurassic world. Here are some thoughts about some of the themes in the film and how we, as Christians, might view them. (May contain Spoilers)

More teeth
The plot of Jurassic World sees scary dinosaurs being developed in response to the public’s need for ever bigger and bloodier spectacle.  It’s easy to agree with the character of Owen in this exchange:
Claire: Corporate felt genetic modification would up the wow factor
Owen: They are Dinosaurs, wow enough
The special effects were excellent, the courage of the characters praiseworthy and the warnings about messing with ‘nature’ were admirable. But it’s worth asking if we are sometimes too keen to demand ‘more teeth’ from the TV, movies and games we enjoy.

But what about us? In our film and TV watching are we always looking for bigger, scarier ‘darker’ entertainment.  The trend for remaking old films almost always delivers films that are ‘darker’ or ‘edgier’ and therefore, we assume, better. Jurassic world itself more violent, faster moving and has ‘more teeth’ than the original ‘Jurassic Park’ film. We need to ask ourselves what we look for in a movie or a game.

Paul encouraged the Christian in Philippi to fill their minds with good things:
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.Philippians 4:8

Who’s in control?
“the key to a happy life is to accept you are never in control.” Says Dr Masrani. His own lack of control over Jurassic world is demonstrated as, later in the film, he plunges to a fiery death in his damaged helicopter.
This recognition of the power and chaos of the natural (or unnatural) world is a key theme in Jurassic World

“Jurassic world exists to remind us how very small we are” we are told early in the film. Claire’s continual desire to keep tight control on things and ultimate failure to do so becomes very clear. She crossly tells Owen, “You are not in control here” but neither is she as it happens!

The world can be a fearful place. Nature itself sometimes seems chaotic and cruel. In the ancient world this chaos was particularly recognised in the danger and power of the sea. Jesus demonstrated divine power over the chaos of nature when he calmed the storm.
“[Jesus] got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. Mark 4:39

 Like Owen who asserts his authority over the ‘raptors with just a few words and a look, Jesus was able to assert his authority over a raging storm.  He’s not just in charge of nice, calm things like flowers and birds. At the cross he battled and won against the chaos that afflicts the world and the sin that spoils our lives.
We are small and the world is chaotic and dangerous but we are loved by the One who is in control and who knows and responds to our deepest needs.

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