By Shanuka Kadupitiyage Ceylon Today Features
E nder's Game is a movie that was adapted from the military science fiction novel with the same name, written by author Orson Scott Card. The story takes part in a futuristic setting, where earth is at war with an alien species; A war that humanity is losing.
Therefore, in preparation for a final clash in battle, earth's children are trained from a young age to be humanity's final protectors.
Ender Wiggin, the protagonist of the story is one such child who has been found to be a tactical genius. The movie takes the viewer to see the fate that Wiggin will face and ultimately, what humanity will face.
However, that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Reception of the book and its four sequels has been extremely high, winning the best novel in both the 1985 Nebula Award and the 1986 Hugo Award (that's how old the book is), two of the most prestigious literary awards in the world. In fact, the book and its sequels are listed as recommended reading material in curriculums for many real world military organizations, including The United States Marine Corps. Yet the movie didn't receive as much acclamation, barely managing to cover its production expenses, becoming one of the most under-rated and under-appreciated movies of the decade.
The movie had a budget of 110 million US dollars and raked in 125.5 million in the Box Office. The production quality is excellent, the camera angles are well thought out and scene transitions are fluid and pleasing to the eye. Making a movie from a book is never an easy task to accomplish because the entire story has to be concentrated. The movie managed to execute this flawlessly. The performances by the actors are amazing as well, with a special mention of Asa Butterfield with his flawless performance as Wiggin, Harrison Ford's performance as Colonel Hyrum Graff, and Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham. The only minus points that can be given to the movie is regarding some of the original plot that the adaptation brushes over.
When watching the movie, special attention should be given to Wiggin's character progression, who is basically a human teenager being sent to bear the fate of the human race. Wiggin's tactical genius comes from his ability to completely understand his opponent; alien or human. Yet he is forced to slaughter the very aliens he has come to understand and ergo, love. This internal conflict is heavily emphasized, especially from one specific line that he says, "In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it's impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not to love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them... I destroy them."
Ender's Game is a must watch movie for any avid science fiction fanatic, yet remains a movie that everyone should enjoy to discover something from the movie and even something from themselves.