Easy question. Who’s your favourite superhero?
Mine is Batman. If names are anything to go by, a Clark Kent and a Peter Parker can’t compete with a Bruce Wayne, right? Batman is just the right mix of sweet and wicked—no red underwear to distract from that beautifully batsuited body too. Of course Michael Keaton was perfect for the part though it’s the only role I haven’t liked George Clooney in, batsuit notwithstanding.
Then in 2005, along came Christian Bale. The English voice of Howl (in Japanese animation god Hayao Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle) as Batman? Batman Begins was about inner demons, vengeance, exploring the dark side—brilliant, I thought.
And then they resurrected an angst-ridden Superman. Nearly 20 years after the last film, Superman returned in 2006. The New York Times called it “leaden”, but I thought it was the best Superman movie I had ever seen. Wish they would do something about the female leads though—can’t remember a bearable woman in a superhero film since Michelle Pfeiffer in 1992’s Batman Returns.
On Friday I’m off to see what inner conflicts they conjured up for insipid Spider-Man. Tobey Maguire has always left me cold, but who knows, perhaps he has an exciting demon or two hidden under that black suit. Meanwhile, I suggest you cut out and keep this ready reckoner of a long, hot Hollywood summer coming your way (Page 12).
If you’re not into Hollywood heroes, read about a real life superhero on Page 16. We stumbled upon the online log of Bhavik Gandhi, a Mumbai-born, Stockholm-based venture capitalist. He’s currently somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean on a 23ft wooden boat called Miss Olive, halfway through his third attempt to get from Spain to Antigua.
Reminds me of the time my cousin Raj and I were studying hard in graduate school in Philadelphia. Every month we would get a postcard from his brother Gyan which usually went something like this: ‘I’m playing chess in a Bedouin camp’ or ‘I got arrested and interrogated in Turkey’. Some people have all the luck. And the balls to go out and live their dreams.
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