Cathay, The Curve – Robin Hood was one of the English childhood tales that I used to read when I was a child. Come to think of it, a whole lot of childhood tales and even stories of the prophets in the Quran are percolated with the themes of justice and oppression. Some of them are The Three Musketeers, Oliver Twist, Cinderella, Peter Pan and many more. Whereas the Quran tells us of various incidents of oppression that occured during the times of prophets like Yusuf, Musa, Ibrahim and Nuh ‘alaihumussalaam. We should also not forget how Prophet Muhammad PBUH had defended the rights of the oppressed such as the poor, elders and women.
Ridley Scott’s illustration of “Robin Hood” differed from its many previous versions. It depicts Robin beyond its folkloric cliché where the hero steals from the rich to give to the poor. The story accentuates the character’s struggle of justice for the people who were suffering in the hands of a heartless and deceitful King.
It is also a prequel of what made Robin Hood to have incalculated principles that inspired him to stand up against tyranny. The storyline resembles James Bond’s Casino Royale, where the audience is given a chronology of what had caused the protagonist to have never trusted any of his female encounters. Prequels are a creative way of explaining a character’s disposition. As in reality, a person’s past shapes his behaviour and future.
The film takes us back to the era of loyal knights and narcissistic kings at the end of the 12th English century. The British kingdom was almost ousted by a well planned French invasion with the help of a royally camouflaged impostor.
A “double agent”, Godfrey the royal guard attacks English villages to collect tax debts in the name of King John. The preposterous act had caused a furore leading to Barons who were heads of village communities to come together and fight the kingdom.
However, Robin Hood’s eloquent rationalization with the affiliation of Barons had managed to elide a civil war with the King, pacifying them to unite against the French armies instead.
This scenario resonates the condition of political parties in the country. Parties either from Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat coalition are baffled with factional conflicts. There are certain groups or better known as the Little Napoleons who tend to make decisions that are in favour of their own hegemonic or individual interests.
In a recent lecture, Sen. Kotaro Tamura shared that the fall of LDP after being in power for more than 50 years in Japan was mainly caused by factional fighting. He posited that defending the party against factional fighting was tougher than fighting against the opposition. If we reflect the history of nations, internal conflicts are one of the factors that contribute to the fall of empires and civilisations.
Unless our political leaders are lesser engrossed with their personal interests and agendas, our country might not be as lucky as King John’s empire.