Enders game is based on eponymous novel by Orson Scott Card, which is set in Earth’s future, where the military prepares for attacks from an alien species. The military recruits and trains child prodigies to thwart a third invasion.
Enders game takes us through the journey of Ender Wiggin, who has to succeed in several difficult games including some in zero gravity, and hone his leadership skills by working with unruly peers, highly competitive fellow teams and mentors who want nothing but best out of him. But most important, he has to bear the cross of being a genius and the ostracization that it brings.
Asa Butterfield as Ender delivers a poignant performance, and carries the audience with him in his travails and successes. His evolution from a introverted troubled genius to a leader who finds his mission, is pretty neat. Harrison Ford as Colonel Graff, who believes in winning is all that matters, and Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham, who almost annihilated the aliens in previous attack, bring the solidity that the movie requires.
The movie scores big time on special effects and a haunting music score (‘Battle room’ and ‘mind game’ are my picks; Steve Jablonsky’s score is available here on iTunes for Rs.120). It succeeds in building and integrating the themes of leadership, military training, war strategy, child prodigies, and most importantly the political/social perspective of wars.
Understandably, the movie becomes a little heavy towards the end, when Ender ‘thinks’ beyond war and realizes his true mission. But may be that’s what true leaders do. When they conquer, they don’ rest on laurels or get carried away by other’s opinions. They ponder, and seek another mission. King Ashoka?