Adventure Movies, series, and soaps replaced my love for cartoons since high school through campus till now I’m a working class. I say I’m fond of plumping my butt on the couch and having a good entertainment watching just any sensible movie apart from translated films—the jingo stuff.
In fact, I hadn’t realised I’d watched a plethora of movies till recently I discovered that CDs and DVDs are amassing slowly beneath my TV table. Only then did I start reflecting on the movies that have had concrete impacts on my belief about success just like an inspirational book, or like a novel or even more than books. A memory came in my mind: Heavenly Sword.
Based on the heavenly sword video game franchise from Sony Computer Entertainment, the animated film is a prophetic story of Nariko (Anna Torv), a heroine whose feat is to wield a heavenly sword. An immaculate weapon once a blessing upon humankind had become its curse. Men tore each other’s flesh apart to wield earthy power using the sword.
So emerged Nariko’s clan, a family of nomadic worriers whose duty was to wield the heavenly sword and had been the sole custodians of the sword for aeons to save man from destroying himself.
At the opening scene, Joe, Nariko’s warrior-cousin and another folk Suki got involved in a fight with Nariko’s Sister Kai, a naïve little girl. When Nariko intervened, it was evident that her fighting skills surpass Joe’s. She overpowered Joe and snatches his dagger.
When the war began, it isn’t surprising Joe was telling Nariko: “quickly, get inside.” This is just how it is in the society. Sometimes men try to put women down. But did Nariko go inside? No, she remained fighting. In fact, she saved Joe from death when “Bohan’s assassins” were wreaking havoc in the fortress.
Master Shen, the sagely family leader Noticed and appreciated Nariko’s skills saying: “Your skill surpasses the best of my clansmen.” It was the right time for the clan to entrust any “warrior” with a mighty weapon, the “heavenly sword” and Nariko was the choice.
“Know your sword, daughter,” Says master Shen. “Come with me.”
Bohan (Alfred Molina), an ambitious and malevolent king who even fasted for power as a child had come for the sword. Joe had betrayed the family and told the evil king where to find the sword.
But cunning is an evil Kings’ tongue. Nariko ‘knowing’ the lies of the king that had apprehended her for the sword still ‘listened’ when the King said she isn’t the chosen one. As a result of that deception, she and the sister Kai plans to take the sword to a brother.
So two sisters; two warriors, each with their own strengths and capabilities fight against the most feared king.
Kai is defeated by Bohan’s magical skilled assassin who slayed and hanged her. Nariko with her healing power fought knowing she had to heal the sister and rescue her clan under the captive of the evil King.
What’s even realistic about this movie is that even when Nariko had demonstrated her skills to the father, rescuing the family, the father couldn’t believe she is the chosen one. They continued looking for the chosen one who will “defeat the evil king and rescue them.”
Isn’t this just how life is? People many times look far when what they want is actually at hand in their possession. It’s predictable your family will wish upon you an office of position of influence but, believe me, even when you hold the post, they’ll not be satisfied by your victory.
Finally, Nariko defeated Bohan and his forces at the battle in the Great Forge. Nariko’s calmness and meditation gave her power. The evil king attempted to use black magic but all his dark forces turned against him even when he pledged his own soul in return.
“Oh holy one, grant me your power so that I can send this abomination back to hell, please!” Bohan begs the devil. “And my soul is yours.”
But the devil is a liar. He torments him later. King Bohan is seen crying for help. His imbecile son emerges crying “oh daddy”, and telling Nariko to “go now”.
To me, the heavenly sword is a story of doubts and victory. Nariko and especially her family wouldn’t have wasted time doubting and looking for “the chosen one.”
Before Nariko dies as fate had it, she’d declared to her clan celebrating her victory saying they were all wrong.
“I wasn’t the chosen one; the sword didn’t choose me, I chose the sword.” She declared.
Some of us who think other people are “meant to be” this and that, you must work so hard to challenge this movie. Like Earnest Henley said in his prophetic lines:
I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.
By Ian Akatwijuka