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Headscratchers: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  • So, why didn't Mola Ram pull Willie's heart out of her chest anyway? Is it an every-fifth-person-we-pull-the-heart-out-of thing? Do they not do that to female sacrifices? (Of course, it's simply too easy to joke that it's because she doesn't have a heart, but seriously.)
    • My interpretation is that Mola Ram never actually pulled anybody's heart out of anybody's body —It was all mass suggestion. Mass hypnosis, if you want to call it that. During the first sacrifice, we are shown what those present think they are seeing. During the second (attempted) sacrifice, we see what really happens (Mola Ram doing as if he is holding aloft a beating heart, when in fact he isn't). At the end of the movie, I interpret what Mola Ram tries to do to Indy on the remains of the rope bridge as an attempt at suggestion, perhaps inducing a heart attack or something.
      • I think that theory's pretty strongly tested by the fact that Mola Ram thinks he can tear Indy's heart out on the bridge scene at the end and Indy's legitimately worried about it to the point where he's taking Short Round's advice to cover up his heart. How do you explain that?
      • I don't know. A mass hallucination makes sense, considering the cultists are drugged and brainwashed and the whole sequence is nonsensical... except Indy and co. also witness it, are appropriately horrified by the heart-ripping, and they're not brainwashed. There's really no reason to believe Indy would see a beating heart unless there really was one.
      • And no reason for Mola Ram to try the same trick on Indy when they were hanging over the river, if it was just an illusion. Trying to physically pull him off the bridge would've been more effective that using a scare-tactic on a man who'd just had the balls to cut the bridge he, himself, was standing on.
      • Perhaps to induce a heart attack to make him fall?
    • James Kahn's excellent novelization of Temple Of Doom says that Mola Ram was just messing with Willie's head in that scene (I guess just to torture her further before the actual sacrifice).
    • Possibly they only removed the hearts of people who were believers in the Hindu faith? A non-believer's heart might not be considered worthy to be offered up separately, and the man that Mola Ram did play Beat Still, My Heart with was praying to Shiva during the sacrifice.
    • Also worth considering is that the followers (and possibly the victim) were all drugged with opiates and hallucinagenics, so if we're seeing it from their perspective, they may think Mola Ram ripped out his heart.
      • The way I see it, the reason Team Indy saw the heart ripping, there were drugs in the air makng them see it. And besides, the whole heart ripping things makes no sense, Mola Ram would have to break through the victim's ribcage, ribs aren't exactly easy to break through.
      • I think you are forgetting that the films have all sorts of supernatural things going on.

  • Why didn't Indy have a panic attack when "snake surprise" was being served?
    • I got the impression that he was so busy chatting with the others at the table that he didn't notice any of the Foreign Queasine.
      • Another possibility is his fear of snakes is prevalent only in his "action" mode. During the Temple of Doom dinner scene, Indy was in full "academic/teacher" mode. In Last Crusade, when young Indy was being chased, he fell into a crate full of snakes, and he was freaking out, as opposed to brushing off a snake before being chased.
      • I thought the whole point of the snake-crate was to show the origin of Indy's phobia. He brushed off the snake (and even said "it's just a snake") because it preceded the traumatic, phobia-inducing event.
    • The python that was served as "snake surprise" was quite obviously dead, hence wouldn't intimidate Indy, who isn't even freaked out by human corpses. The squirmy live critters inside it were eels, not snakes.
      • Which proves the writers Did Not Do The Research, as uncooked eel blood is poisonous to humans and other mammals.

  • The man Indiana is talking with about the airplane arrangements in the beginning of the film. What is it with him sounding like c3po and enunciating every word in a deliberately obnoxious manner and nasal voice? "as You Will Be Riding On A Car-go-plane-full-of-live Poultry". Really now? If it's supposed to be an accent I am at a complete loss as to which one, and why such an irritating one was chosen.
    • Um, it's obviously supposed to be a humorously exaggerated British accent. What's not to get?
    • Plus he's played by Dan Aykroyd, so it Rule of Fun applies...

  • At the beginning of the film, Indy spends a good portion of the club scene desperately looking for the antidote to his poisoned drink. Willie, spotting the antidote, does the most helpful thing by sliding it down the front of her dress, and is angry when he reaches in and grabs it in the car. Did she mistake it for the diamond from the club scene, or was she actively trying to kill him?
    • I think her being angry was just on the principle of a guy she barely knows—and who had threatened her earlier—reaching into her dress. She was probably planning to just give him the antidote—possibly in return for something, who knows—but wasn't expecting him to basically molest her to get it.
      • She sings at a club frequented by gangsters. Many of the men she's met there probably would have copped a feel along with the antidote, and possibly done worse than that after they'd chugged it. Of course it freaked her out!
    • She was probably planning to use it as a bargaining chip. "Give me the diamond, I give you the antidote." And she just forgot that she had it when things really went to Hell.

  • Why did Willie get on the plane with Indy and Short Round?
    • It never exactly came up in dialogue, but she was really just dragged along without resistance once things turned bad at the club. Note that she's not in any way an Action Girl like Marion; she's a total diva, and would need someone streetwise and tough like Indy to protect her from the gangsters. If they weren't intending to kill Willie, she probably thought they were, and in any event they were so reckless and trigger-happy she probably figured running away with Jones was the safest option. The whole group made things up as they went once the deal went sour; no time to think or plan ahead, just roll.
    • Because Indy had ordered three airline tickets: for himself, Short Round, and Wu Han. Even though Wu Han died, Indy's not going to waste that third seat, dammit!
    • Indy may not have wanted to leave her behind, knowing she'd blab to their pursuers about where he was going.
      • He might also be afraid of what Lao Che would do to her if she was left behind. He might kill her just to work out his frustrations.
      • Or to punish her for having chased after the diamond, which Lao certainly considered his property.

  • If the movie is supposed to be set before the events of Raiders of the Lost Ark did it never occur to the writers that it messed up continuity? Where are Willie and Short Round after this movie? Why did Indy scoff at the suggestion of magic at the start of Raiders of the Lost Ark when he has clear evidence of its existence in this movie?
    • Lucas and Spielberg were influenced by James Bond when they created the Indiana Jones series and it's inferred Bond and his love interest break off the romance between each movie. In Indiana Jones IV gives some meat to this issue by having Indy marry one of his leading ladies. Short Round might have just grown up.
    • They really should've set this film after Raiders. After all, they didn't bother explaining Marion's absence in Last Crusade.
    • Some fans do prefer to think of this as a sequel, and the date subtitle at the beginning is merely a "continuity error".
    • Who's to say Indy doesn't have a girl in every port?
  • Why did Willie go with Indy and Short Round to the palace? I understand how they all ended up in the river on that raft but I don't think they ever made it clear to her that they were her ticket back to Delhi.
    • Vanity and greed. Willie was overjoyed with the idea of visiting a maharajah's palace and it only went up when she was told that the maharajah was single.

  • Where exactly did the archers come from and is there any possible explanation for them missing so many shots. Archery's not that hard.
    • They were there the whole time, and yes, archery is hard, especially at the range they were firing. Given the range and rate, they're lucky they even got that close.

Raiders of the Lost ArkHeadscratchers/Indiana JonesIndiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Raiders of the Lost ArkHeadscratchers/FilmIndiana Jones and the Last Crusade

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