Tag Archives: Kali Ma Shakti De

Indiana Jones and the Religious Implications

First and foremost, apologies about the state of the blog next week. E&GT was postponed ’till tomorrow due me forgetting about it completely and watching a movie/drinking with my cousins last night. This morning’s replacement was delayed due to my being sick all day today.

The following contains spoilers to films you should’ve seen by now.

Moving forward- I watched one of the Honest Trailers videos on YouTube, this one about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and it got me thinking . . . what kind of world does Indy live in?

The first and third films in the franchise concerned the Ark of the Convenant and the Holy Grail, respectively. Both are Judeo-Christian relics, and both are shown to have a great deal of power in the series; the former melts the face off of a bunch of Nazis and the latter brings Henry Jones Sr. [Sean Connery] back to full health from grievous wounds. Which is great.

Then take into account the second film, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The Hindu goddess Kali is introduced, who is pretty into human sacrifice. This movie’s relic is actually five relics, sacred Sankara stones that do . . . something. All I’m really sure of is that Indy says things and they get super hot and burn the guy who says “kali ma shakti de” and pulls out another dude’s heart.

The first three movies of the franchise make a lot of sense in context with the protagonist’s profession, that of archaeologist. The main issue here is that the Holy Grail and Ark of the Covenant are shown to draw their powers from the Judeo-Christian God, father of Jesus Christ, et cetera. High priest Mola Ram [Mr. Kali Ma] finds his supernatural abilities in Kali, I assume. This can be explained away with the following-

“Kali” and the source of her powers originate in the demonic. This resolves the idea of an actual healing Holy Grail existing in the same universe as magical burning stones. God and Kali are essentially just opposite sides of the same coin, the divine and the diabolic. Which is great. We’ve reconciled the two, fantastic.

Enter Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The relic: the skull of a genuine extraterrestrial. The source of its powers: genuine extraterrestrials. Which leaves us- where?

As an audience we’re left to believe that a divine Jesus Christ, death goddess Kali, and aliens all co-exist on some level. The addition of that last source of otherworldly power really throws a wrench into the works.

Sure, I guess we could say that the source of both the divine [for both Judeo-Christian and Hindu faiths] is in the extraterrestrial, that these aliens seeded the world with their technology or power or however else you want to say it, but really? There’s a definite stretch to suspend disbelief on the part of the audience. I mean, sure, we can accept face-melting Arks, but aliens?

And that’s the problem that, I personally, have with the fourth Indiana Jones movie.