Study Guide

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Point of View

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Point of View

The Temple of Doom has a plot that moves like the boulder from Raiders of the Lost Ark—fast, and in a straight line. We stick with Indy in every scene, even when he's brainwashed by the evil blood of the Kali Ma.

Critics for the journal Jump Cut describe Doom's narrative structure as a traditional quest romance, a la The Epic of Gilgamesh, complete with a journey to hell and back. And although the plot itself is straightforward and easy to follow, the overall tone takes a 180-degree turn halfway through the film. (Source)

The movie opens with a sparkly music number, full of tap dancing and more sequins than a finale episode of RuPaul's Drag Race. However, once Indy and crew enters the proverbial temple of doom, there isn't an ounce of comic relief to be seen. We imagine if Mola Ram saw a sequin, he'd incinerate with a glare of pure evil.

So if we were to graph the plot, it would be a straight line, but the tone would resemble a horseshoe. It bounces back into light and humor at the end, with the final scene showing Indy and Willie being dowsed by an elephant, comic humor rarely seen outside of classic Looney Tunes cartoons.

Did we say horseshoe? Maybe elephantshoe would be more appropriate.

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