'The similarities between the blockbusting Avengers: Endgame and Election 2019 cannot be starker. So who plays who?' asks Saisuresh Sivaswamy.
There's a towering antagonist; there's the rag-tag alliance of heroes vanquished by him once but who are out to bring him down this time.
The similarities between the blockbusting Avengers: Endgame and Election 2019 cannot be starker. So who plays who? Let's take a look.
This one is a no-brainer. There is no one else who is so larger-than-life, who seems so invincible.
Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi certainly harbours no such evil plan as Thanos, of universal subjugation, but his wide-ranging foes believe he is indeed out to destroy the 'idea of India'.
Stones in his possession or no, but Modi does seem to have full control of India's soul, and its mind. How the Mahagathbandan of regional heroes ranged against him plan to divest him of this control, will form the crux of the electoral battle.
If there is one leader who has been waging an all-out, last-ditch battle against Modi, it is Sharad Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party.
Like Tony Stark in Avengers: Age of Ultron, did Pawar too see a ghastly nightmare, of all his Opposition allies trounced in the battlefield?
Is it this sight that is propelling him to undertake the battle of his life against a foe who in 2016 credited him for helping him take baby steps in politics?
Is this redemption time?
Like Captain Steve Rogers who emerged ageless from ice to fight the good battle against an implacable foe, Lalu Prasad Yadav came of age in 1990 when he stopped Lal Kishenchand Advani's unstoppable chariot of ire.
Since then he has waged a relentless war against the campaign of divisiveness and hatred, and remains a spearhead of the Opposition, thanks to his remarkable sway over his electorate.
Like the on-screen version, Lalu too may at times seem at odds with the very cause he is fighting, may not be too willing to cede to anyone else's control, and he may be ready to hand over his shield to someone younger, but despite being behind bars he is determined to make this battle one to remember.
Like Natalia Alianovna Romanova, or Natasha, Mayawati too carries a question mark over her commitment to the cause.
Where do her loyalties really lie? To defeating the foe, or to herself?
Can she be trusted?
Is she playing a double game?
Like Natasha, Mayawati too packs a mean punch, thanks to her captive voter base that does as she bids them.
Will it come to her aid once again in this ongoing battle for the all-important home state of Uttar Pradesh, and help in knocking the stuffing out of the foe?
In the blink of an eye and with a snap of his fingers Thanos lays waste his homestead, and Hawk Eye cannot get over it.
Much like the young Akhilesh Yadav who finds that his home has been swamped by the Bharatiya Janata Party and its all-powerful leader, and has been thirsting for revenge. But he knows he cannot do it alone.
Like Hawk Eye who brings in Natasha after Budapest, Akhilesh has done the impossible: Of roping in Mayawati after the Circuit House fracas, despite the scepticism of others in the Opposition ranks, to fight alongside.
The two are now fighting side by side, and share a special bond -- against a common foe -- just as it is shown onscreen.
Is Asgard the new Amravati?
Like Thor's people looking for a new home to settle down to now that their Asgard is destroyed, so have Chandrababu Naidu and his people been readying their new capital. But it takes time, and resources, something which is in short supply.
A special package for the state would have certainly helped temper Naidu's ire against Modi and prevented him from engineering the Opposition against his regime, but let us not forget that Thanos wants to be master of all he surveys and doesn't really like regional satraps.
He really is a puny man who punches wayyy above his weight.
He is reckless when he turns green in which state he often does damage to his own cause. But he does have a good heart beneath that exterior.
He was pretty useless in the last battle in Avengers: Infinity War, when his specials powers seemed to have abandoned him.
He promises to do better in the latest film, but the others are not so hopeful.
Still, you need The Hulk on your side, to reduce the damage quotient that he is capable of.
Now who does it remind you of?
A certain Rahul Gandhi?
In Avengers: Infinity War T'Challa finds that his idyll, the impenetrable Wakanda, is under grave threat from the forces of Thanos, her defences unable to withstand the mighty onslaught unleashed by Thanos and his forces -- rather like, if you won't mind the gender mixup, Mamata Banerjee's domain West Bengal has been facing from the BJP.
When cornered she fights like a panther, she will defend her realm at all costs, and is determined to end Modi's Bengal campaign once and for all. And in her spare time also join the Opposition in putting a stop to the BJP juggernaut.
Dr Strange and Wong
Like the sorcerer from Bleecker Street and his partner, Asaduddin Owaisi and his ally Prakash Ambedkar have been ploughing a lonely furrow, defending the realm.
Owaisi knows all the electoral calculations, as does Ambedkar, to bring down the enemy, but the odds seem to so boggle the others waging the same war.
But just as in the film, if anyone's got the math right to bring down the BJP, it is Owaisi. That doesn't mean it can be done, of course.
The little guy who does the most damage, who can suddenly become larger than life. Does it describe Odisha's Naveen Patnaik, or Tamil Nadu's M K Stalin? We will know on May 23.
In Avengers: Infinity War Nick Fury sends an SOS to her pager before turning to dust, and there were high hopes of her role in Thanos's vanquish. Captain Marvel even had a movie dedicated to her, which raked in at the turnstiles.
But in the 22nd and most decisive film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain Marvel plays a blink-and-miss role, the heroics belonging clearly to the superheroes we have come to love over the last 10 years.
Who does it remind you of? Someone who has been billed as the Congress's ultimate weapon every time an election comes up, but who vanishes on battle eve -- like Priyanka Gandhi Vadra recently did in Varanasi?