Many people spend their life searching for a higher being. This review focuses on the first three movies in the series “Indiana Jones” because they are the ones that most pertain to this subject matter. Henry “Indiana” Jones Jr., the archaeologist, goes on many wild adventures; however, beneath the explosions and fight scenes lies a man with a much deeper quest. I feel as if this movie centers around Indiana overcoming his disbelief in a deity. It bothers me that many people do not notice this in this movie. Indiana Jones running from the huge rock appears as the most popular scene of the whole series, not religious elements. I think this review will be an interesting topic because I will look at these movies from a different perspective. Bringing to light this underlying story is important because Indiana not only finds ancient items, but also he finds and accepts the presence of a deity.
As with any good movie, the hero never walks out of his trial unscathed and uncontested. In the first movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Indiana makes it clear from the beginning that he does not believe in a deity when talking to Marcus Brody. Indiana says “I don’t believe in magic- a lot of superstitious hocus pocus.” Anyone watching this movie can easily overlook this statement, but if you look closely, he means much more. Even though he relishes on the opportunity to go after this object with religious context, he does not believe in a god. I felt as if this interesting part in the movie goes unnoticed by many because many see just the action over the religious elements. In “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Indiana races to find a golden chest containing the original ten commandments. Why else would Indiana go after the Ark of the Covenant if he had no belief unless he wants to find out for himself? This simple quest becomes even more difficult when the Nazis search for the Ark of the Covenant as well. After Indy finds the Ark of the Covenant, the Nazis gain possession of it and proceed to perform the ritual to open it. Those who gazed upon this Ark as it opened die from the spirits being released from it; however, Miriam and Indiana shield their eyes, so they survive. I feel as if this scene sparks the first moment that Indiana becomes more susceptible to the belief of a greater being. He witnesses first hand the energy being released from the Ark and its power, but Indiana does not completely become convinced. I think this movie starts the transformation of Indiana, and the next two movies build on his transformation.
As Indiana Jones makes a crash-landing arrival in a small Indian village, the villagers believe their children were kidnapped by evil spirits due to a sacred stone being stolen. The village people believe the gods sent Indiana to them for the purpose of retrieving the stone. Now, most people would not see the coincidence of this happening in this movie, but Indiana accepts the challenge and begins his search for the stone, missing children, and a deity. Indiana questions the beliefs of the villagers, and even after their warnings of seeking this stone, Indiana simply passes off the warnings as superstitions. Him denying the warnings of the villagers proves the case that he still does not believe in a deity, but Indiana still goes out to search for the stone. This made me feel as if deep down, he had a small bit of faith in a deity. After Indiana fights to get the stone back, he returns it to the village saying that he finally “understands its power now.” Indiana saves the children being used as slaves, and he returns the stone where it belongs. He learns that maybe the mysticism that surrounded his struggle and temporarily stole his mind could be based on fact. Besides the fact that Indiana still does not completely believe in a deity, he believes more than he did in the first movie.
Indiana joins his father on another adventure in “The Last Crusade” to search for another religious object- the Holy Grail. This cup that caught Christ’s blood at the crucifixion needs to be found quickly before the Nazis find it. I feel as if these movies use religious elements for a reason because Indiana’s journey leads to also finding a deity. Near the end of this movie, Indiana without a doubt has faith in something. During the movie, Indiana’s faith faces the ultimate test when his father’s life depends on it. The only thing to save Indiana’s father after being shot depends on the Holy Grail. Indiana must choose the true Grail to bring to his father; by using the wrong Grail, Indiana’s father will die. When Indiana chooses the correct Grail and saves his father’s life, I feel like this was the working of a deity. I do not think Indiana just happened to pick the correct Grail when it could have easily went downhill by him choosing the wrong one. It made me feel happy that Indiana finally found peace in this sense. I felt as though this movie helps to prove Indy’s finding of a deity.
The true story behind Indiana Jones involves a man recovering rare and valuable artifacts but also recovering a faith. Indiana seeks a greater meaning behind his own existence and longs to believe in something more. We all want something or someone to believe in. I found this claim to be interesting because many over look the fact that the items sought in all these movies have a religious element. Indiana originally called these beliefs and superstitions “hocus pocus,” but he changes his original thoughts after experiencing and seeing these tests for himself. Indiana almost loses his life several times throughout this series by looking for these religious artifacts, but he saves himself by finding the true meaning behind his life by finding a deity.