the early twenty-first century

The day passed with heavy rainfall, and in the afternoon I found myself in the storage room sorting out my old movie collection. There were movies mostly from the nineties, those that had affected my imagination and impressed me as a teenager. One such movie was The Fifth Element. As soon as I did dusting off the cover, I decided to watch it once gain. So I took out the VCR, cleaned it all day and in the evening, sat in front of the TV.

The Fifth Element features genetically engineered beings, flying cars, visitors from space, smart homes, light-speed travel, interplanetary vacations, and last but not the least, ultra-sophisticated handguns. It is a technological mecca for Sci-Fi lovers, with seamless animations and visual effects. It brought back some wonderful memories, of how we re-winded the scenes and played and re-winded and played and so on. We often talked about whether the technologies shown in the movie would one day be realized, possibly in the near future!

Come to think of it, the last fifteen years turned out quite peculiar in terms of technology, as compared to what was shown in the movie! For example, the closest thing to a flying car today is the Moller Skycar; the next-of-kin of genetic engineering is the cloning of a sheep called Dolly. As for human contact with aliens, it consists of pure speculations about ancient civilizations, their mythologies & countless archaeological findings of elongated skulls. Comparing further on, sophisticated handguns and weapons systems are emerging – not quite as shown in the movie, but something evolving rapidly (as seen in countless documentaries). Smart homes, too, are becoming reality, if money is no object – thanks to the advances in digital computing, cheaper hardware and nanotechnology. As for light-speed travel, it is hardly more than theory. Yet, interplanetary vacation has begun in the form of orbital or space tourism, and heavy investments by some promising companies.

To sum it up, technologies shown in The Fifth Element are far from reality, nonetheless Luc Besson and the entire crew deserves a loud applause for the wonderful work. I know it might be a little late to congratulate them, but it is never too late to thank someone who had inspired you at some point in your life. It is often said that you cannot make something a reality without first imagining it, so thanks for taking the first steps.

The future is unknown and what it may hold for humanity is yet to be seen; but future, as it is, is whatever you make of it.

Then I moved on to a next movie in the collection.


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