The thrill of science fiction

You will hardly find anyone who has not heard of romance, comedy, action or tragedy as movie genres. These movies are the subject of daily discussion in colleges, schools, chat logs and just about any chowk in any city. However, Sci –Fi movies are hardly discussed, especially in Nepali communities. There could be many reasons for this: first, these movies are often left unexplored in the Nepali film industry; second, it is hard to get the gist of these movies because they are based on scientific theories.

“Sci–Fi” is short for “science fiction”. Sci-Fi movies are based on scientific theories like gravity, mutation, special and general theories of relativity, black holes, or even time travel.

They can also serve to exaggerate a scientific hypothesis, or add fictional elements to science. Examples of sci-fi cinema include: the Back to the Future series, the Terminator series, the Krrish series, Gravity, the Star Wars series, the Jurassic Park series.The main idea behind such movies is to illustrate complex scientific conceptions in simple language for the general public. People working in the field of science and technology or even students seeking to understand complex concepts can benefit from these movies. For instance, the Special Theory of Relativity is very hard to understand and the visualisation of this theory is little difficult for many students.

However, movies like Back to the Future or Terminator help us explore the conceptualisation and application of such abstract ideas. Similarly, we can further our understanding of gravity or asteroids, stars, satellites and even space by watching Star Wars or Gravity. The Jurassic Park movies give us a clear picture of many important prehistoric reptiles of the Jurassic and Triassic periods.

Though these sci-fi movies are gold mines of information, Nepal is far from being able to create such movies. Even Bollywood has only recently broken into the genre with movies such as Krrish and Robot. Scientific innovations and complex knowledge can be disseminated to the general public through engaging science fiction stories.

However, a word of caution to those of you who wish to pursue sci-fi in cinema: not all sci-fi movies give are scientifically accurate. Some movies take scientific concepts too far with excessive exaggeration of improbable events.

Instead of focusing on the cinematic presentation of science, these movies aim only to enthrall the audience.