‘Oppenheimer’ to ‘Avatar’: 5 Hollywood films that draw references from Indian mythologies
As the audience waits for Nolan’s comment on the controversy surrounding Oppenheimer, let’s take a look at some high-profile Hollywood films that draw references from Indian mythologies.
Celebrated filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s latest directorial venture Oppenheimer is at the center of controversy in India. One scene from the big-ticket biographical thriller film shows the protagonist reciting a verse from the Bhagavad Gita just before sexual intercourse. For the unversed, Bhagavad Gita is considered to be one of the holiest scriptures of Hinduism. As the audience waits for Nolan’s comment on the controversy, let’s take a look at some high-profile Hollywood films that draw references from Indian mythologies.
Director Christopher Nolan’s latest film has set the global box office on fire with its impressive collection. The film is inspired by the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer who is often referred to as the ‘father of the atomic bomb’. Robert was an ardent believer in the Hindu epic Bhagavad Gita and even actor Cillian Murphy recently spoke publicly about reading the revered scripture while preparing for his titular role in Oppenheimer. His character in the film is shown reciting a verse from the Bhagavad Gita just before sexual intercourse.
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a professional thief who steals information by infiltrating the subconscious of his targets, Christopher Nolan’s 2010 science fiction action film Inception draws parallels to Hindu temporal units, suggesting that our perceived life is a dream, causing cycles of suffering. The manipulation of time and the dream labyrinth in the film aligns with profound metaphysical insights from Hindu philosophy.
James Cameron’s Avatar series, one of the most commercially successful film series ever made in Hollywood, cleverly incorporates elements of Indian mythology, particularly through its name derived from Sanskrit, meaning ‘incarnation’.
The plot of the 2014 epic science fiction film co-written, directed, and produced by Christopher Nolan features time dilation on Miller’s planet, which bears resemblance to an incident in Hindu mythology involving King Muchukunda, who assists Lord Indra in a heavenly war.
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope by Gorge Lucas resembles Ramayana on many levels. Luke can be seen as Ram. Princess Leia is like Sita who has been kidnapped and needs to be rescued from the Emperor and Darth Vader who resemble Ravana. There is also the character of Han Solo who is like a best friend of Luke just like Hanuman was to Ram.