Dear KES Family:
Am I allowed to write about Avengers – Endgame yet? Have enough people seen it that I don’t have to fear for my life with some observations as some “spoilers" have discovered?
It is interesting to note that most of the time when we choose a film or a novel, we want to know what it is about beforehand. Not so with the 22nd Marvel Comics movie. Three weeks ago when it was released, I was in St. John with the rugby team and Justin Day told me that he had turned off all his social media so that he would not inadvertently read anything about the film. In fact, he said that he had friends back home who did not attend school until they had seen it. That could be a long wait as every show was sold out for weeks in advance. This accounts for the record smashing $1.2 billion opening, but also accounts for long waits in isolation for fans who don’t want the plot spoilt – intentionally or unintentionally.
And so it was that last weekend I was in Montreal with Righo and Brisnel Etou, as their legal guardian in Canada, for a visa application at the French Consulate, when I mentioned the possibility of seeing the film while we were there. The instant excitement in their eyes was fabulous. For three weeks they had been unable to join into countless conversations and each had literally walked away from friends who were discussing the film. To be able to watch it in Montreal, (In Imax 3D no less) made the whole trip worthwhile. We purchased the tickets in the morning for an evening show and discovered that almost no good seats remained. Incredible.
To my surprise, I enjoyed the show and actually found myself admiring the writing. Being the fourth Avenger film, it is enhanced if one knows the backstory and has seen the other Marvel films. Clearly, the multi-generational audience I shared the theatre with was rapt from start to finish…over three hours later! I have never seen so many people, especially children under ten years old, sit still (or not have to pee) for so long.
Brisnel and Rhigo enjoyed the film, and I thoroughly appreciated being able to talk about the existential aspects of it. Apart from all the special effects and action, there are messages about love and family and the meaning of life that are worth reflecting upon. I have always thought that Hamlet’s mother sacrifices herself by drinking the poisoned wine Claudius intends for Hamlet. I don’t like to think of her as simply “passion’s slave” without redeeming qualities. It does not fit my internal paradigm. Likewise, I like to think that in Endgame Iron Man sacrifices himself to save young Spiderman. He feels responsible for him, and the boy’s death in Infinity War weighs so heavily upon him that he gives up everything he cherishes to bring him back.