Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What will be the true impact of Watchmen?

Not surprisingly,the legal issues surrounding the release of Watchmen have been resolved and the movie will be hitting a theater near you on March 6. While I'm happy to hear it,I do wonder about the ultimate impact this film will have on the viewing public at large.

Sure,plenty of folks have no problem with mainstream movies that have very strong leanings to the dark side(the recent success of The Dark Knight is a prime example)but unlike those who have read or are somewhat acquainted with the content of the story,the possibility of literally blowing up the expected notions of a superhero movie to the casual observer are pretty high.

For one thing,a good percentage of the audience for the Watchmen may walk in,thinking this is just a more souped up version of the usual DC/Marvel comic book caper,with the regular set up of good guys vs. bad guys and rescuing average citizens in distress:

While there are elements of that archetypal framework here,the line between good and evil is thinly drawn. Some of the actions taken by the "heroic" characters in this story include rape,torture,deliberate deception and plots to commit mass murder to further a suspicious agenda.

In many ways,Watchmen is more like a film noir piece that highlights the all too human nature of those that society puts on a pedestal and refuses to flinch about showing the absolute lows that people are eagerly willing to sink to.

To plenty of people,this will sound like a wonderfully challenging film but my concern is for the potential outcry and backlash that may come from the less understanding folks among us who will start up protests,using the rallying cry of "protect the children!" To hopefully cut that debate off at the pass,I say unto to you: this movie is rated R for a reason. Find out a little bit more about it and if it's not for you,then don't go. No one will force you to see it,but please let those of us who want to,do so in peace.

There's also the strong possibility of fan backlash as well;there has been talk circulating online that the ending of the film differs from the graphic novel which seems to be the real deal. From what I've read,the alterations were done for artistic reasons and time constraints.

The director,Zack Snyder, has gone to great lengths to stay as close to the source material as possible,even to the extent of having the original colorist and illustrator,(John Higgins and Dave Gibbons)work on the storyboards for the film. His dedication to the project is truly sincere and with that in mind,fans of the graphic novel should give him and the movie the benefit of the doubt. The battle between page to screen adaptations is an age old one. Please let's not get all worked up over something that may actually turn out to be good for the story.

Watchmen has the chance to break some serious ground here,and elevate the pop culture playing field for more offbeat comics and graphic novels to enter the mainstream forum. I know that there are folks who would hate to see that happen,mainly due to any artistic compromises that would resolute and have done so already in the past(Alan Moore,the original writer/creator of Watchmen is one of them).

However, getting thought provoking material like this out in the spotlight may be a giant step forward for intellectual development and artistic freedom in our society,which needs all the help it can get these days. Instead of keeping imaginative and stimulating creative works regulated to only one area of pop culture,we should encourage folks in Hollywood to take chances like this. Otherwise, we'll be even more drenched in remake madness that we are now. Save the pop culture media ,save the world:

1 comment:

Ladytink_534 said...

I haven't read the original material yet but I am curious about the film! Hubby is really looking forward to it too.