Thor: Love and Thunder, Taika Waititi’s ambition and courage

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Brian Adam
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Thor: Love and Thunder special, Taika Waititi's ambition and courage

In keeping with the Norse apocalypse whose name it bears, Thor: Ragnarok was a real movie earthquake for fans of the God of Thunder Marvel. We have focused on the value of the fine comic several times written and directed by Taika Waititi, thinking a lot about the authorial exercise of the director of Savages on the Runas much as on the element of the deconstruction of the superhero figure in an ironic key An idea, this, which divided the MCU fandom a lot, polarizing two distinct parts: the supporters of Thor’s change of course and the conservatives of the character’s courtly and divine spirit.

looking the evolution of the God of Thunder in Avengers: Endgame and all the projects that Waititi has in the pipeline (including a new Star Wars), Hollywood would seem to have given support and significant productive support to the vision and creative calibre of the author, making Thor the hero at the most controversial moment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Waititi among the most debated directors of 2020. And the fact that it is up to him to lead again Thor: Love and Thunder scare the fans of the character, who are not detractors of the filmmaker but fans who are not convinced of the curious choice of tones used by them. All this makes it very interesting a brief reflection on the Taika Waititi approach to the genre, revolutionary and deeply anti-dogmatic filmmaker.

Dare, dare, dare!

There is no better password than “dare” to describe the modus scribendi e Operandi of the director in the fine comic field. Waititi dares to question some dictates of what the superhero is venally and intrinsically more dramatic than the whole parterre Marvel, at least in a poetic and prosaic sense. Because a God must be serious, austere, rigorous and powerful.

This was and still is the figure of Thor who is told in the comics, net of a character that over time has assimilated much more human and schizophrenic behaviours, adapting from time to time to the situations he had before him.

Waititi did more for the character though, a complete underlying composure and bringing out what we can call the soul of God, making it essentially more human and emotionally real. The gamble was just that: radically change gods behavioural bias of the character so as to transform it deeply, viscerally, as an inner epiphany with no possibility of return.

The attempt was to insert an extremely ironic key to a franchise where it was the comedian element that worked on everything and first of all, however, restricted, kept in a cage and left to both secondary characters and little to Thor. The New Zealand director has instead intercepted this unexpressed potential and made it the tonal and narrative cornerstone of his vision, going further to reach non-sense and improvisation, found paradoxical and significant if approached once again to the common, generic and pre-constructed ideal that man has of a God.

The result was shocking and unexpected, so much so that everyone was caught unprepared. Thor: Ragnarok was the apotheosis film of Marvel creative freedom, the film that most of all underlined evidence of the conceptuality behind an MCU project. It was also the cinecomic that restored Chris Hemsworth’s passionate impetus, who recently recalled “how bored at the time by the character and his seriousness“They were all really, after the bankruptcy The Dark World and the not so appreciated Avengers: Age of Ultron, so much so that both the producers and the protagonist have called Waititi the great saviour of the Thor franchise, the great game-changer of an uncertain destiny and then re-shaped, re-founded and re-launched.

We are talking about an entire creative department and important company leaders who felt in unison the need to significantly change the brand. Dissatisfaction was upstream and at the top: a building of frustration and discontent that risked collapsing ruinously and instead safeguarded by the most pretentious of the hazards. From there, on the contrary, the fall of the divine and the rise of the human, up to the total extent seen in Endgame but faithful to the path taken by the character. Now everyone is happy:

Hemsworth, Feige, Waititi and also Natalie Portman, who instead of working with the author has chosen to return to the role of Jane Foster to receive the same treatment as the male colleague. And the director already seems to promise sparks, given that Thor: Love and Thunder will be by his own admission “more fearless, brighter and bigger“. A game doubling with himself and his ambition. That game we can’t wait to play as spectators.