I love Iron Man. Actually I love Tony Stark (and Robert Downey Jr) but, for all intent and purpose, they are both the same, at least for me. Other than Batman, who is too dark and brooding, I can’t think of any other superhero who owes his super powers to technology alone and not to anything else- random spider bite or a random planet. But, as I said above, Batman and his Gotham City are just too bleak for my liking. Iron Man, on the other hand, is a rock star. He does have a “change of heart”, literally, after he is abducted in Part 1 but anonymity or subtlety are not his style. Not that he is not a “good” human being. He is but whatever he does, it’s in a very “in your face manner”. This is a man who is a narcissist in the true sense of the word and unashamedly so. He suffers and from there starts his attempt at finishing the technology that makes him capable of fighting. He does good as he goes along the way but the motive is also self aggrandizement. Faced with the possibility of poisoning and death does he go all out to save the world while he can? No sir! He goes to party and boy does he party hard! He fights tooth and nail to prevent anyone else from getting the Iron Man technology. As he says, he has successfully, and if one may add smugly, “privatised world peace”. He plays to the galleries with élan. He is a showman. Even at his worst and weakest, he cannot resist histrionics. And we love him.
And in Iron Man 3 comes the inevitable downfall of the superhero. And he learns- yet again. Showmanship, for all the audience it can get you, comes at a price- a price that Tony Stark did not see coming. He is brought down to his knees, in more ways than he or we can imagine. And along with this also comes the inevitable question- is it the suit that makes the man or the man that makes the suit ?
Iron Man 3 has a new director, different from the earlier two Iron Man movies. Yet the tone of the movie and the character are retained, for without them, Iron Man would not be Iron Man. The same cocky attitude, same irreverence, same classic one liners and wise cracks that were the hallmark of the earlier two Iron Man movies run throughout. Robert Downey Jr as the inimitable Iron Man deserves yet another round of applause. He carries the role in his inimical style- he and Iron Man are practically synonymous. Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts and Ben Kingsley as Mandarin are nicely played out. But it’s Iron Man and his show all the way as he falls and as he resurrects himself, phoenix like. The movie gives you a lot of moments to cheer, whistle and clap. It’s in movies such as this that I miss the good old cinema halls when the audience went berserk cheering Amitabh Bachchan on in his yet another avatar as the angry young man. When did we become the strawberry and cream eating stiff upper lipped audience? It’s time to lay aside your popcorn and coke-This one is definitely worth a lot of cheers and whistles !