Ship of Theseus in English Film Reviews by Harshil books and stories PDF | Ship of Theseus

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Ship of Theseus

Once upon a time in a last century before the world saw Christ, A Greek historian, named ‘Plutarch’ raises a philosophical dilemma,

“If a ship's (Let‟s say "Blue Vader‟) planks have turned old and weak so they are replaced by new

stronger material and so eventually the whole ship. So will it still be the same "Blue Vader‟?”- -*-

Centuries later, British philosopher, Thomas Hobbs extends the paradox:
“Now let‟s assume that another ship is built using recycled material of planks of "Blue Vader‟.

Now, which one of ships is to be called, actual "Blue Vader‟?


“Pictures are wonderful. How are you managing to do this?”

“Well, I just sense the situations and surroundings using voice and touch. I just let my camera follow my intuition.”

“That’s wonderful. You are an icon, you see? You can be huge inspiration for others who have such limitations (physical). ”

“I actually don’t see it as limitation but just the new way of conceiving ...”

Her name is Alia. She is a celebrated photographer who has lost her eyes (but not vision!!) due to some cornea infection. She uses her intuition and auditory conscience to click ‘art’ photographs. Later, she goes through cornea transplant to regain her eye-sight. Miracle happens? Nope. She is now used to perceive the world with her own inner sense and intuition. When she struggles to cope up with new ‘sense’ to perceive the world, she realizes that she has lost her ‘sense’ while gaining other.


“Universe is so huge. How does it matter if our actions are not aligned to it?”

“That’s the only thing matters. If it doesn’t matter then what else would matter?”

His name is Maitreya, a mid-forty rational-minded and moralistic monk. He is not ‘Jain’ Monk. It doesn’t even matter here what the religion is. Maitreya is smart and rational who strongly oppose the companies which use animals for trial-testing of drugs. He can very well debate with his pure rationalism and sharp insight. He is fighting for the cause in Court. Now, his life takes interesting turn when he is diagnosed with ‘liver cirrhosis’. Doctor suggests him to undergo operation and for that, he will have to take lot of medicines. Now, his moral dilemma is these medicines are manufactured by the companies to whom he has been fighting with. He denies it. Doctors, Friends, monks, all try to convince him but he is not able to choose between his life and compromising his morals.


“He must have been given huge amount of money for this. How does it matter?”

“My friend, it will still be the same wrong, won’t it?”

His name is Naveen, who is not interested in anything but money. He keeps himself sunk into trading and share market. His moralistic grand-ma sometimes criticizes him to be so money-minded. She is angry with him as he doesn’t care about significance of his existence to society. Such ‘moral-talks’ make him annoyed. But due to incidental suspicion regarding his kidney transplant, he comes to know about kidney-stealing case of a poor laborer, Shankar. Following the roots of the scandal, he ends up reaching to Stockholm, to confront the receiver of Shankar’s stolen kidney.


Now, imagine the body as "ship‟, organs as "plank‟ and Dilemma of existence as "Theseus Paradox‟ then this crafts the best Indian movie, which can stand proudly in the line along with World cinema. Finally!!! Finally, a movie with such a humungous international appeal with fantabulous screenplay and stupendous cinematography is becoming the epicenter of quality fresh and masterwork vibrations of Indian Cinema. Finally, we have the movie to which can tag, "MADE IN INDIA’ and proudly boast about it. When premiered in numerous European film-festivals, the film achieved huge acclaim and praise from some of the gems of Indian Cinema. Veteran film-maker Shekhar kapoor excitedly said, "Thank God, finally I will be able to retire peacefully!!‟ Genius film-maker Anurag Kashyap appropriately said, „Easily the best movie made in Indian cinema in decades. Anand (Director, Anand Gandhi) has put ‘all’ of us to shame!‟ A very talented director who is known to make brilliant films of diversified subjects, Dibakar Banerjeesays, “’Ship of Theseus’ has given me serious doubts about myself as a film-maker. I seriously introspected myself for two-three days as a film-maker.”


‘What is so special about (and in) the film?’ - Probably the first brave and well-crafted attempt in Indian Cinema, which correlates and eventually converge the Morality, Identity, Existence and spirituality into a dense but still digestible multi-layered drama and so obviously, the one with lose-motion effect for whom who just enjoy mind-less and sense-less stereotyped drama. This movie is definitely out-of-league for traditional ‘halla-gulla’ type entertainment lovers. It addresses the theme of moral dilemma, existence but not in a heavy boring lecture-like manner but brilliantly simple, genuinely aesthetic and sheer entertaining way. ‘Honest’ pace is one of the strongest USPs of ‘Ship of Theseus’[I get confused when I hear when people say the movie is very slow or fast, After all, it’s a movie not a Rajdhani express!!! Wherever and whenever it is needed, it should halt and give audience a chance to explore the moment and surroundings in the context of plot.] It brilliantly

walks along with Maitreya’s daily walk-ride to the court and also halts sometimes to capture the living-on-the-edge, very transient existence of caterpillar. [One of the best scenes in the movie, showing sheer perishable life of insect whose existence depends on others’ moves] It also addresses the restlessness of Alia when she realizes that along with her eyes, there is also something else that has changed while it also depicts duality in terms of razor-sharp arguments of rational-minded Maitreya and his moral- dilemma. It also salutes ruthless, so-called (rude) but frank, non-manipulative, self-righteous youth and also shows tragic-reality of kidney scandals and shallowness of anger, pain and sorrow in the shadow of greed of money. It is just the absolute genius of the director that how wonderfully all three stories converge together in the end. Above all, Master-stroke (or Master-reference) of the film?: As ‘Theseus’ Paradox’ addresses, ‘If a ship is modified, plank by plank, at the end, will it still be the same?’ Paradox in the context of the movie: “If an organ is changed in the body, will it still be the same or it will change something? If yes, what that is? ’- Remember, ship is just a symbol! If some physical part is changed then something else definitely changes, what is that? As in film, it may be your photography instinct or your moral values! Biologically, our body is also entirely regenerated cell-by-cell in seven years. So the question is still the same: ‘are we still the same?’-


Don‟t miss this ‘pioneer masterpiece’ and as one of the critics rightly said, hidden gem of Indian Cinema.‟ It's nothing but the delicious treat to witness this masterwork!!.


“You have an intricate problem that you can’t solve, and sometimes even simply articulating your problem brings you closer to the answers. Sometimes the solution lies in articulating.” – Anand Gandhi [The director, ‘Ship of Theseus’].