Shubhobroto Ghosh reviews Jurassic World produced by Universal Pictures.
Coming 23 years after the first Jurassic Park movie, Jurassic World is an extremely enjoyable watch. It has a strong message on animal rights and the ethics of keeping wild animals (in this case resurrected extinct animals) in captivity. It also provides very potent messages on proper zookeeping practices like enclosure safety and the relationship of keepers with large carnivores. The film does not shy away from discussing man’s place in nature and whether living, sentient, intelligent animals are simply ‘assets’ meant for human entertainment and profit. It also illustrates a good point of hybridisation through the principal animal character in the film, a Tyrannosaurus rex X Velociraptor. The Mosasaur episode of eating a dead shark is very similar to the spectacles offered by SeaWorld with killer whales and dolphins, and raises the same ethical questions on performing wild animals in captivity. It would have been nice to experiment with the idea of the keeper communicating with the large hybrid dinosaur and taming him without violence like he did with the smaller dinosaurs. Some good scientific points have been inserted in appropriate places about evolution and ethology, although one notices the circus style riding of Triceratops too. It is a film well worth watching even if one can never escape from the fact that these big budget Hollywood films always depict man at conflict with some ‘other’ entity, real or imaginary, be it wild animal in the form of King Kong, Godzilla, aliens or resurrected dinosaurs and it is very often exclusively Americans who are being attacked by these creatures.
Reviewed by Shubhobroto Ghosh, Author of the Indian Zoo Inquiry and Senior Programme Officer at TRAFFIC India.
First appeared in: Sanctuary Asia, August 2015.