Study Guide

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom The Supernatural

The Supernatural

No one will ever accuse an Indiana Jones film of being realistic. However, that doesn't stop some fans from debating the ridiculousness of some of the series more over-the-top scenes. Strangely, the supernatural aspects of these films almost always gets a pass.

However, unbelievable moments like Indy falling from a plane in a raft in this film, or surviving a nuclear explosion by hiding in a refrigerator in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, are deemed illogical.

Why is this? Perhaps because the supernatural elements of the film are rooted in their own particular logic. It ties into the "Foreignness and the Other" theme. What we don't fully understand, whether it's magic stones, the Holy Grail, or how Indy always manages to save his hat, we believe all these objects to be magical.

Questions About The Supernatural

  1. How does Temple of Doom root its supernatural aspects in reality?
  2. Where does religion end and the supernatural begin in Temple of Doom?
  3. Do you like the supernatural aspects of the story, or do you find them too unrealistic?
  4. How are the supernatural elements of this film similar to those of other Indiana Jones films? What do all the artifacts he pursues have in common?

Chew on This

The supernatural aspect of Temple of Doom isn't well explained. The lack of firm rules allows Indy to turn Mola Ram's power against him at the end, despite none of it making any sense.

The villagers believe that the Sankara stones have magic powers. Whether they do or not is irrelevant. By returning the stones, Indy gives them hope, which is a more powerful gift.

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