Friday, March 20, 2009

Watchmen - This world is afraid of them, they've seen its true face

First things first. I hadn't read the comic book before. I had no clue about Watchmen until I saw the trailer before The Dark Knight. I got even more interested in it because of Zack Snyder, who made a visually spectacular "300" earlier. Agreed that movie didn't have soul, but yet it gave a new direction for a war movie and man what mind blowing visuals !! Now coming to Watchmen, before watching the movie I was knowledgeable enough not to expect a Spidey or a Batty kinda superhero flick. Neither did I want a popcorn spoon-fed flick where I just have to be awe-inspired by spectacular effects and graphics. I wanted a complete suspense thriller woven with powerful thought-provoking dialogues interlaced with some breathtaking action sequences played out with a haunting background music. Watchmen turned out to be all of that and more. This movie unlike 300 had lot of soul. It was complex, made me think for the most part of it. Made my brain work much faster. It was storytelling in a whole new dimension. Right from the fantastic one of the best intro scenes ever, till the grand finale, Watchmen was one helluva ride.

Lets start with this. Who is a "Superhero" ? What does one expect from a Superhero or in other words, what does one want a Superhero to do ?? Till date most of the superhero movies had this ultra powerful superhero ( except for The Dark Knight ) who looked like the good guy and his nemesis, who clearly looked like the bad guy ( green goblin, doc oc, joker...) and a plot where the good guy protects the common people/the world from this bad guy. Now what would happen if the roles got reversed, and we have green goblin, joker, and other baddies be the good guys and superman, spiderman be the bad guys. Thats something the general public would never digest. And thats exactly where Watchmen stands out. Watchmen forces all of us to think about the terms good, bad, protect, innocent, crime. It questions your judgement of right and wrong, good and evil. On the whole this film is made at the borders of intellectualism and entertainment, and it's as violent a place as any border town.

Throughout the movie, there are all the various characters figuring out answers to these questions. Watchmen made people think, but didn't tell them what to think. Of course that's going to tick many moviegoers off. In other words, this isn't a kids' movie. Not because there's sex and violence, for which individual parents' mileages will vary. It's a grown-up movie because it helps to have read the comic first, and to be old enough to understand that a challenge to your assumptions is not a personal affront, but an invitation to think. Some people will never be old enough.

As the movie is set in the 80s the mood, the setting and the music have an old world charm which always is enticing. I was pleasantly surprised to hear Bob Dylan's The times they are a-changing and Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. Its funny now when I think about it that I went to the theater thinking Rorschach is the main villain, just because he DID look like a bad guy. I've gone ahead and bought Watchmen the comic from Costco, which sells for jus $ 11.99. Most of the bookstores and sites like amazon sell it. Its turning out to be an engrossing read. I'm able to relate to every scene of the movie and also many more things missed out of the movie. That was obvious coz it looks like there's a lot of story in the 12 chapters which made it a daunting task for Zack Snyder to put it within 2:45 hrs. Anyways I'm glad he did that, because he's done full justice to the story and the message which the story gives. The message which it gave in the 80s, which is still valid even in these times.


One of the best dialogues :

Rorschach in jail - ""You all think I am locked in here with YOU...but YOU are all locked in here with ME!"

One of the best visually stunning scenes :

Nite owl and Silk Spectre kiss on planet mars with Nuclear explosion in the background.

One of the best action sequences :

The intro fight sequence between The Comedian and The you know who.

One of the best musical scenes :

The burial of Comedian with Sound of Silence playing in the background and Hallelujah playing while Nite Owl and Silk Spectre have sex.

"The Sound of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel -


Anonymous said...

came 2 ur blog to read some review. dude..u write well. could've been good a journo and saved us from lot of crap we read in papers. keep it up.

- S i R i S h - said...

Thanks man..I think if every journalist write wats in their mind and give their unbiased opinions and don't fall in the trap of media hypocrisy, the world would have been a better place and the people would have been much more smarter.