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Raiders of the Lost Ark

October 9, 2006

He wears a hat, has a stubble. He dresses in soiled jacket, rough jeans and equally soiled shirt. His only weapon for protection is a whip and a small pistol. He is afraid of snakes and most of the time he keeps running in and out of trouble. Yes I think you got whom I am talking about, Indiana Jones, the hero of 3 Hollywood blockbusters directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and by far the best of all, the 1981 classic Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Raiders is one movie that keeps making my list of favorite movies every time without fail, and I consider it to be the best entertainer I have ever seen.Raiders is the story of Indiana Jones, an archaeology professor who doubles up as a daredevil archaeologist. Indiana or Indy, as he is more popularly called, is asked by the American Govt to get the Ark of Covenant.

As per the bible, the Ark is a golden treasure chest, that contains the original tablets on which the 10 commandments were inscribed. Any one who posseses the Ark would be totally invincible and free from all hunger, and thirst. American intelligence gets wind of the Nazi’s intentions to take the ark. Indy’s mentor Professor Ravenwood, mentions that the Ark was hidden in the Well of Souls in a city called Tanis which was later buried under a sandstorm. Prof Ravenwood has the head of Ra, a bronze disk which when affixed on top of a staff, would show the location to the Ark.
Indy flies to Nepal to meet, Marion Ravenwood( Karen Allen), the Professor’s daughter who now runs a tavern, and also Indy’s former love. Though Marion is initially reluctant to part with the bronze disk, she goes along with Indy after a struggle with a Nazi agent, burns down her inn. And so they travel to Egypt where the Ark is located. Apart from the Nazis, Indy also has to deal with his rival Rene Belloq, a French archaeologist who is now hand in glove with the Nazis. Does Indy manage to get to the Ark? Or do the Nazis get it? Do Indy and Marion get back together again? What happens to the Ark?
Well just watch the movie.Right from the initial scene where Indy escapes falling boulders, tarantulas, booby traps to the final climax, Raiders is a series of unending action and top class excitement. You barely recover your breath from one scene, when immediately you are pulled into another. And by the time, you come to the climax, you find yourself dizzy with the ride. Steven Spielberg comes out with a classic entertainer, which can be enjoyed any day, any time. And he also provides wonderful tongue in cheek humor, as in the scene where Indy calmly shoots a masked swordsman.Some of the great scenes in the movie
1) The first scene where Indy tries to escape from a huge boulder
2) The scene where Indy discovers the location of the Ark
3) The scene where Indy and Marion are pushed into a snake pit, and their attempts to come out.4) Indy taking on the Nazi’s single handedly.
5) And of course the final climax scene

Raiders of Lost Ark would not be half the movie it was without Harrison Ford. As the dare devil adventurer, with his trademark wide grin, Ford is just awesome. And to think that Ford was not the first choice for this role. I just cant imagine any one else in this role but him. As the down to earth, rugged, dare devil, swashbuckling explorer, Harrison Ford fits the role of Indiana Jones perfectly.
And Karen Allen provides the perfect foil to Ford as Marion. Alternatively sexy and sassy, she matches Ford, and doesn’t end up as a mere wall flower in the movie. As a tough feisty woman who is equally vulnerable, she is just great and oh yes, in a thin white negligee, she sends many a male heart fluttering. In fact both Ford and Allen, share a great chemistry and that works in the movie.
Paul Freeman as the slimy Dr. Belloq, Ronald Lacey as Nazi agent Toht and John Rhys Davies as Indy’s Arab friend Sallah, provide good support.
And of course mention must be made of John William’s unforgettable background score for this movie,.Photography is great and of course the special effects in the final sequence are chilling enough. Raiders of the Lost Ark is a movie for all ages, and can be seen any time. It entertains from start to end, and my only advice is watch this movie either on the wide screen or in a home theater to enjoy it fully.

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