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Avengers: Infinity War celebrates a mammoth loss, and it’s awe-inspiring. Spoilers inside

Avengers: Infinity War is about loss; the extent of it, the pain it inflicts and the suddenness of it that doesn’t even allow a proper goodbye.

Avengers Infinity War Updated: Apr 28, 2018 21:27 IST
Sandip Bardhan
Sandip Bardhan
Hindustan Times
Avengers: Infinity War,Avengers,Infinity War
Josh Brolin plays Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War.(Marvel)

This piece contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War

In the run-up to the April 27 release of Avengers: Infinity War, I browsed the internet for a glimpse of what would unfold in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where a mega battle awaited our superheroes. In short, I was searching for so-called spoilers, satisfying an urge so strong that I often fail to resist despite being called out by friends and colleagues.

This time I stumbled upon a link -- now deactivated -- that gave me ample dope on who would, and how they would, die in the battle against the supervillain, Thanos. Armed with that knowledge, I went to watch the movie on Day 1. Nothing could shock me, I thought.

READ | Avengers Infinity War movie review: The God of all Marvel films, an epic tragedy

But I left the theatre speechless, awestruck by the magnitude of loss in the now-ravaged world of superheroes who have entertained us for a decade.

For Avengers: Infinity War is about loss; the extent of it, the pain it inflicts and the suddenness of it that doesn’t even allow a proper goodbye.

In a movie where scenes appear straight out of a comic book, with action seamlessly shifting from this planet to that; where characters crack jokes in Marvel’s signature style in the face of death; and where there is an abundance of formulaic sacrifice, unity and righteousness that are typical of a superhero flick, loss and grief overwhelm all other emotions.

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in Logan.

X-Men: Days of Future Past too shocked us, before bringing back the main characters to life. Last year, Logan made us sigh at the fate of the once-mighty Wolverine. In 2016, Doomsday killed the now-resurrected Clark Kent in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But the sense of helplessness in this Avengers installment dwarfs all.

In the 19th movie of the Marvel universe, planets lose their people, a lover loses the woman of his life, a man loses something he vowed to protect, a leader loses his warriors, a friend loses a friend and the list goes on. Death and destruction, in the blink of an eye, continue from beginning to end.

Thanos, the mass murderer, too loses something important in his attempt to rid the universe of half of its population. His tears -- even he can cry -- glitter in the crimson rays of a nascent sun in a new-look universe. A voice haunts him.

As for our superheroes, some stay with us, devastated and broken. Others, many high and mighty, die. A few, however, might return soon in the sequel, scheduled to arrive in one year.

For those who won’t, fans, knowingly or unknowingly, have left behind in movie theatres a priceless ode: a little piece of “self” separated from those who have basked in the glory of the now-fallen superheroes.

Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson in a still from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Every time a movie series -- such as Avengers or Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings -- reaches an end or nears a conclusion, dreamy-eyed fans have to let go of something precious. And it’s not just the thrill of waiting a year or two for the next installment, or venturing into the magic world where heroes reside. It’s also about a fan realising that he/she has lost his/her childhood, imperceptibly, with the end of the Hogwarts era.

As some of our favourite characters bid adieu, it’s time to take a stroll down the memory lane. Looking as far back as 2008, when the first Marvel film released, fans will now realise they have lost a few small pieces of themselves in time, albeit making bittersweet memories when these heroes walked the silver screen.

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First Published: Apr 28, 2018 12:30 IST