Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Film Review: The Hero's Journey- "Thor" (2011) a review

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Kenneth Branagh’s iconic film “Thor” (2011) is a unique film that tells the story of the thunder god. It is an excellent example of the use of The Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell.
It begins with the call to adventure: Dr Jane Foster, Darcy and Erik witness a man falling from the sky, which immediately puts them in an unfamiliar situation to deal with. Prior to this happening, we are shown how the enemies of Asgard, the frost giants, enter and attempt to steal the Casket of ancient winters. The new king of Asgard, Thor, is angry to hear this, and gathers his party to travel to the planet Jotunheim to confront the leader. His arrogance gets the better of him, and he disturbs the peace by fighting the frost giants. When his father hears of this, he is utterly disappointed, and strips Thor of his godly power.

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Thor is then cast down to earth as a mortal, along with his hammer, Mjolnir, which will only ever be lifted by the one worthy to wield it. The banishment is the refusal of the call. In essence, Thor is the supernatural aid to Dr Jane and the rest, as we later find out.
Thor crosses the first threshold by getting used to being a mortal on earth and the people around him. The belly of the whale includes Thor trying to find Mjolnir to regain his powers, and return to Asgard. However, during the road of trials, after finding Mjolnir, is doesn’t accept him, and Thor is arrested for trying to steal it. All the while, Dr Jane is the temptress to Thor, as they slowly fall for each other during their adventure. 

A large part of this film is the atonement with the father:  Odin; as he banished Thor, he soon falls into “Odinsleep” to recover his energy. All the while, Loki, brother of Thor, discovers he is actually the adoptive son of Odin, but takes over the throne.

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The Apotheosis uncovers that Loki actually let the frost giants through, however it was a trick so that he can destroy Jotunheim, and thus gain the recognition of his father. The ultimate boon shows the intense battle during the last half hour: The Destroyer causing havoc on Earth, Thor regains his powers after he is struck by the machine (and his sacrifice proves he is worthy to wield Mjolnir once again) After defeating The Destroyer, Thor can now return to Asgard, but is reluctant to leave Jane, so the kiss goodbye signifies the refusal of return. 

The magic flight involved Thor and his friends travelling back to Asgard, and Thor finally confronting Loki, and they have the destined fight. After a tense and thrilling battle, Loki is left hanging as the bridge to other worlds has been destroyed by Thor. Odin returns to save Loki, but Loki chooses to let go and fall into a black hole. 

In the end, Thor is now a master of two worlds: once again becoming king of Asgard, and getting used to life as a mortal on Earth. Thor, his friends and family now have the freedom to live (for now), as well as Dr Jane and her friends, as they go back to normal human life.

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