How do you learn to respect a movie? Watch “2001: A Space Odyssey” the first movie ever to turn the heads of Hollywood towards a science project. There’s now a new, scientific, laser-eye equipped big bad Wolf in the Hollywood Genres. Science-Fiction… The Holy Grail of Box-Office. A genre that would churn billion dollar movies like ‘Star Wars’ and also took TV by surprise with ‘Star Trek’. Science is cool. That’s the reason why every damn Avengers movie achieves the billion-dollar mark like a baby drools. Inevitable while being adorable.
But skyscrapers like Avengers are the last buildings to arrive in a City. Sure.. they are fancy. But what you gotta respect and more importantly should experience the monuments that started the city. Monuments that inspired the people to build more and finally stumble upon the skyscrapers. 2001: A Space Odyssey is way ahead of its time in many ways. And Stanley Kubrick no lesser than God that made this visual marvel possible. Released in 1968, the movie was so ahead of its time, that even in the year 2001, the movie was still praised for its foresight and the depiction of HAL 9000, an Artificial Intelligence that surprises you at every turn.
1968, we were still talking about sending the man to the moon. USSR and USA are restless to be the first to the moon. Cold War and Berlin wall had them at each other throats since the Second World War. But, Kubrick had something else on his mind. Space… The ultimate wild, untamed, unknown and final Frontier for Humans. Kubrick understood the unparalleled vastness of the Space and the possibilities in it. He showed a possible reality in 2001 through his movie. We could’ve been that. If we’ve just given the preference to Space over War, Science over Faith, we would’ve been in a Space station talking to HAL as Kubrick pictured. And it ain’t half bad, let me tell you. Hibernation in space, Artificial Intelligence, Voice Commands, the scene where HAL beats humans in Chess, where HAL reads the lips from a see-through glass to understand what we’re saying, a whole Space Station in control of an AI. The list goes much longer if you list the things this movie got right while being way ahead of time and technology.
And if you think the floating scene in Inception is awesome, take some time to watch this movie where the Captain of the ship runs around the space station like a human guinea pig. I’m not much of a drooler over movies but if I got to pick a drool list, 2001 would be on the top of that list. There is so much, for the lack of better words to describe… science in the movie. I’m fairly confident that Steven Spielberg loved this movie in his early years if you want credibility. After all, he’s the protege that carried Sci-Fi in the next two decades beyond the shores of America with blockbusters like ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ and ‘E.T’ that was photocopied with shit as ink in Hindi as ‘Koi Mil Gaya’. No worries though, I’m sure that the Indian movie industry will have a wake-up call in 2019 regarding Sci-Fi. Tollywood and Kollywood have tested their luck in 2018 with Sci-fi movies and it’s like blood to the audience sharks. Once you kinda taste it, you can’t stop it. Indian movie industry got to understand the fact that the Indian audience isn’t dumb anymore.
Anyway, before I stray off the path, before “AI is coming” sweeps 2019 like a storm, watch HAL manipulates, pleads for his life even, plans and even try to kill Humans without blinking an eye for the safety of the mission. Why am I excited about a computer killing Humans? Let me tell you why! Creating a conscious mind with feelings like us that can drive a computer to take lives if necessary and beg you to spare him… for me, that’s as close as humans get to play God. The basic survival includes killing if necessary. Killing for fun makes you a mad man. Killing for survival makes you… Nothing less/more than a Human.
Take a deep breath, sit back and relax… AI is gonna be the greatest challenge Humans will ever face. Why relax? Because we arrived too late for the party, the cat is already outta the bag… There’s no way it’s going back in. Think about it. Google knows before you if your girlfriend is pregnant. She gotta google it right?? Amazon knows what tablets you take. And Flipkart knows when you are thinking about changing the phone. Facebook manipulates you into voting for a racist. You post your whereabouts to the world on Instagram. Combine the motherload of sensitive information and give it a free will… Afraid yet?? You should be… Or, you can wait for a statement from a Khan or Big B during a movie promotion that he’s afraid of AI and lose your shit all over Twitter.