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Some Ramblings - The Avengers
By Srinivas Kanchibhotla

Remember the multi-starrers of the yester years, where everything just had to match and every event occurred in perfect multiples of the number of heroes accommodated in the feature? And that included the number of songs per hero, the number of costume changes, the number of blows each one landed on the other in the inevitable and the obligatory duel, and in some extreme cases, down to the number of slurs they hurled at each other. Sometimes, even when some of the above had nothing to do with the narrative, they just had to be so. Says who? The fans, Yes Sir, the fans. Commercial multi-starrers are predominantly fan pleasers. So, who ultimately comes out the victor in an NTR-Krishna (or for that matter, Krishna-Sobhan, or Amitabh-Vinod Khanna) starrer? While NTR had the talent, Krishna had the spunk, while NTR's acting was effortless, Krishna's, fearless. That's the beauty of the game, that the movie was so designed as to not (at least, explicitly) side with one hero, giving all the good lines or the good songs to him. All the good things about the movie are split down in the middle and divided evenly among however shared the screen space, lest the fans, who earlier salivated at the prospect of having their idol taken on his rival, are left fuming and ruing. Because that's almost the sole reason why fans clamor for multi-starrers - bragging rights. 'Your hero paled in comparison to ours in that scene', 'Yours can only whimper, while ours, roars', 'Your hero couldn't even shake a finger, leave alone the entire leg, even if his entire career is put on the line'...The jousting goes on without a clear cut winner emerging at the end of the it all, just like how the makers had hoped, designed and executed. Isn't that the ultimate goal of the multi-starrers anyway - leave all the sides satisfied, and have them come back clamoring for more? Well, all this, for mere ordinary, human heroes who have obvious shortcomings. Now, how about replacing the run of mill ones with pick of the litter super heroes? If the fights between fans rise to a fever pitch defending mere mortals, guess what stratospheres would the decibel levels rise to siding with their super heroes?

First up, the crowd favorite match up - Superman vs Batman. Who would win a fight between those caped crusaders - Kal-El or Bruce Wayne? Superman could be super, but what if Batman's belt buckle was made of cryptonite? Superman would fold faster than a Chinese fan. Well, what's so great about Batman? One spin by Superman to the outerlimits of atmosphere, Batman would be begging the man of steel for a gasp of breath...and the never ending arguments rage on unabated. Entire divisions of comic book industry thrive solely on fanning flames between super heroes. And for comic book power houses, like Marvel or DC, who have quite an impressive roster of freakish personalities, imagination is the limit for the writers conjuring up situations where one mighty power is pitted against another, only to watch the fandom explode, erupt and go berserk (besides, of course, buy the books by the heaps). This is no standard issue good vs evil super hero setup, this is a good vs good, and to be even more precise, super ego vs super ego matchup. And most of the fun lies not in the thrown punches, but in the verbal banter, where one hero puts down the other, citing the other's pitfalls. Call it Super Slams, which Whedon gets it perfectly well in 'The Avengers'. Whenever Tony Stark shares the frame with other kindred powers, one almost anticipates a snarky, sarcastic, dry, ironic, witty put down aimed at the others and he doesn't disappoint ('You came off a bottle' to Captain America, ' I'm a huge fan of the way you lose control and turn into an enormous green rage monster.' to Bruce Banner'). Cue in the howls. The movie is near perfect in its repartees and ultimately achieves what it set out to do - super heroes joining hands, but not without roasting each other. The beauty of the script (other than its rousing and rib-tickling lines) is how each character has its time in the sun to shine bright and how no one comes out on the top at the expense of the other. This is a consummate equal opportunity moment sharer and crowd pleaser. The great balancing act that Whedon does, managing the limelight on each hero, and finding the right mix between action and comedy is nothing short of a miracle. Considering what he did with the characters that never quite soared on the silver screen (save the first Iron Man outing, the rest, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, underwhelemed in their singular outings), it is safe enough to say that this is as good as it gets.

Guaranteed, 'The Avenger' is the most fun one would have at the movies this summer.

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127 hours
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Kick Ass
Ye Maya Chesave
Maya Bazaar
3 Idiots
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The Hurt Locker
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
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Wall - E
The incredible Hulk
Indiana Jones and the kingdom of crystal skull
Speed Racer
Iron Man
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Chrlie Wilson's War
No Country for Old Men
Om Shanti Om
Lions for Lambs
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Munich (English)
Sarkar (Hindi)
Mangal Padey (Hindi)
Kaadhal (Tamil)
Anukokunda Oka Roju
Batman Begins (English)
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This article is written by Srinivas Kanchibhotla
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