Monday, June 02, 2008

Hero Worship

The year was 1981. I was on the cusp of fourteen, nerdy, shy and worst of all, I had a bad perm thanks to a beauty school graduate mom who embraced all the latest trends regardless of how embarrassing they may be. I didn’t know it at the time, but I as about to be transplanted, however briefly to the dense, lush rain forests of the eastern slopes of the Andes, the place known as "The Eyebrow of the Jungle" before catching the flight to Nepal and then onto Egypt. I was unexpectedly taken on a quest for the mythical Ark. I decided then and there that I not only liked Indiana Jones, I wanted to BE Indiana Jones. Of course, not as much as I wanted to be the toast of Broadway, but then life is full of cruel choices and having my name up in the bright lights was a tad more appealing than digging in the dirt. And, of course, there was Olivia Newton-John just waiting for me to kick start her career with our yet to be recorded duet and appearance on Merv Griffin.

Then 1984 came along. I was a much more mature seventeen year old. I had been to London and stood outside the Hippodrome. I had been to Harrod’s and had eaten my first Indian food in SOHO. In my mind I was cool, hip and happening teenager of the world with my very first Vidal Sassoon haircut. I had yet to discover the actual act of sex, but had discovered that one need not wait until a partner comes along. I was taking matters into my own hands every couple of hours, and it was with those same raging hormones that I entered “The Dragon” nightclub in Shanghai. Soon after it would be elephant rides in Mayapore and a roller coaster ride through the Temple of Doom. Once again I temporarily questioned my station in life and future goals and once again the promise of a standing ovation and a part in “Cats” or “A Chorus Line” won without much of a struggle. I had, after all, already written out my Tony acceptance speech and was strategizing how to parlay my Broadway success into a Hollywood career.

I was a seasoned twenty-one when Indiana embarked on the last crusade, dragging me to the library in Venice with the giant X on the floor that would ultimately take us to Berlin, face to face with the Fuhrer himself and then onto the long lost city of Petra. By now I had really changed. I realized I didn’t want to BE Indiana, I wanted to DO Indiana. And just now I wonder if perhaps that is where my later fascination with leather and whips began? But at that moment in time, I was sad to see him go. It was the last adventure before he hung up his fedora and put away his whip forever.

Ah, Indiana Jones. I always knew that someday he’d come through that door. I never doubted that. Something made it inevitable. And last Saturday, there we were, reunited again. India it seems is not part of the actual world, and therefore was not included in the world-wide release schedule, so I spent most of last week dodging reviews and spoilers so I could go in pure of heart, my mind an empty canvas, every line of dialogue and turn of plot a delightful surprise. And it was not disappointed. Sure, it was no Raiders, but then what is? Still, I thought it was an entertaining way to spend two hours and even after all these years, having seen the older movies countless times, something happens when the theme music plays and I become almost fourteen again, ready to embark on my own adventure.

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe that after all these years Indiana Jones punches still sound exactly the same. I hope I carry an equal clubbing power at the same age. How old is he now anyway????