Movie Review: How To Train Your Dragon

Posted on July 6, 2012 in Media and Culture

By Ankur Sohanpal:

Vikings were Norse explorers, warriors, merchants and pirates. Of course the popular romanticized version of Vikings being savages with brute strength and barbaric manner is at odds with archaeological evidence, but that what is popular, sticks. How To Train Your Dragon is a movie that adopts the latter version of typecasting the Vikings, and surprisingly, I did not mind it one bit.

This particular movie, however, takes the more typical perceptions and weaves in a bit of its own innovative storyline. For example, the whole purpose of existence of Vikings in this movie is to kill dragons, and so, yeah, dragons exist. And here is where the fun begins.

The whole town is a mass of ‘boring’, bulky, typical ‘Viking’ like people, that is — all except one. My dearest protagonist — Hiccup. A hiccup is a natural phenomenon which cannot be controlled. It is honest, unpretentious (where is the scope for pretence with a reflex action you cannot control?) and ungraceful. It is an action that a person must perform, and shrug off as inevitable, unavoidable fate. And this is the best way to describe Hiccup in the movie. While all the other Vikings are barbaric, and stupidly courageous to the point that they take on dangerous dragons with no inhibitions, Hiccup — with his small and slight frame — is the exception. He is, unfortunately, the Village Chief’s son as well.

Living in the perpetual shadow of your parents can be daunting for an offspring; especially if his build and frame is at loggerheads with that of his parents, or for that matter, the entire village. This story is about how Hiccup, with his wood and metal contraption (because, unfortunately, Hiccup being Hiccup, cannot do it with his bare hands like the other village folk) shoots down one of the most dangerous dragons, on one of the dragon’s many raids on the village. When the time comes to carve out the dragon’s heart as it lies bound in ropes, to show to his father, Hiccup frees the dragon instead. What follows is a tale of how the relationship between the humans and the dragons is changed forever, led by Hiccup.

If you love pets, and like watching an unconventional adventure where a pure-hearted person who loves his pets well, and who possesses a sufficiently attractive mixture of nerdiness, creativity, courage and spirit ends up being the hero, and you haven’t watched this movie, you really missed something.

Imagine this — the regular nerd undermined by everyone, ends up saving the entire village. And the way the story has been developed, it does not even look unlikely or impossible. Why do I love this movie? Because it gives me hope, that there is time for great things by me yet.

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Its “How to train your dragon”

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