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Star Wars- Episode II Attack Of The Clones

CINEMA HAS never been the same since Star Wars made its appearance on celluloid. The film and its sequels opened up vistas of technical wizardry and grandeur. Where imagination transcended time, creativity and literally a whole new world, which scientists are only trying to prove! Galaxies, laser weapons, robotic armies and whatever else the mind would like to conjure up, have been made possible through special effects and gadgetry. With the latest offering by George Lucas in ``The Attack Of The Clones," the saga continues. Albeit with better facilities and creations!

Film buffs who have embraced space odysseys and science fiction are probably not going to be disappointed with this one. And as in all Lucas's fantasies, the war between good and evil, technology vs. humanity and heroism vs. dark forces, are ingrained in this too. Right from the opening of a nocturnal chase through the city planet Coruscant, till the light sabre duels and the stupendous arena where the main characters are up in arms against countless robots and the clone wars, the film is one breathtaking ride. It is pretty much fascinating, this galactic world where highways are full of flying machines, where multistoreyed buildings are seemingly endless, and where characters are myriad in hues and images, and where their clothes and manner of speech seem strangely like a throwback to the Shakespearean age, and where the human potential is limitless. If one thought ``The Phantom Menace" was gripping, then ``The Attack Of The Clones" is a far more focused, richly dramatic part of the Star Wars canon.

Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is a precocious, rebellious Jedi apprentice to Obi Wan Kenobi (McGregor). Anakin is straining at the leash to prove himself, but the rules are to go slow and steady. But when an assassination attempt on Senator and former queen Padme Amidala (NataliePortman) fails, Obi Wan investigates the peace threatening conspiracy by Separatists. Meanwhile Anikin is torn between duty and honour and love that is forbidden.

The film then follows Anikin's journey as he pursues his dreams and confronts his fears in the midst of an epic battle and turgid galactic turmoil.

As a film there are many things one could talk about. With the help of Jonathan Hales, Lucas has written the screenplay, which could at one level be interpreted at a spiritual and metaphysical level. The characters are many other than the main ones, and they represent the multicultural strain of life — you accept all shapes and sizes; the Jedis represent those warriors who have to follow the spirit rather than their passions, and they are the spiritual masters in that world; the descent into darkness and its consequences; and the very consequences of cloning! Is it possible that in the future clones will be grown to fight our wars? How are they to be disposed of? Shot on digital cameras (David Tattersall), the film abounds in some very visually, vibrant scenes. For starters, the clones look magnificent; the galaxies and alien life forms are fascinating to say the least.

Some of the locales, existing or computer generated at which they have been shot, are staggering- especially those at Padme's apartment where Anikin and Obi guard her against a monstrous insect; the Senators Platform where a key meeting takes place; the nightclub where Anikin chases the bounty hunter sent to kill Padme and the fluorescent drinks people have there; the Jedi temple and the library, the Naboo Space Port; the Tatooine Desert where Anikin goes in search of his mother and the Tipoca city - where the sea looks like a viscous, oily substance.

It's a water planet ravaged by harsh storms and where the cities are tall structures supported by columns in the water and where the beings are thin, pale aliens with oval shaped eyes. And how can one forget the Geonosis Coliseum where the big battle between the Jedis and the Battle droids takes place?

Actually almost every scene seems to have that extra edge - and along with the background score by John Williams, which is sweeping and dramatic, there is no let up in terms of excitement. You don't have to take it seriously, but you can enjoy science fiction at its picturesque best!

CHITRA MAHESH

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