How to watch Watchmen

poster-watchmen
poster-watchmen

 

WHY does Rorschach have to die? Why does the movie end with a depressing note and a funny tone? Why show an 80s story in the year two thousand and nine? Why the interest on this film adaptation of another DC comic book about heroes and end of the world and the great American dream?

1. I just reported on sci-fi, cyberpunk, and mainstream postmodern fiction.

2. Dear friends, Connet and Ryan, who own boxes of sci-fi and cyberpunk novels, entrusted me a copy of Watchmen (for my report).

3. I need a break break break from my academic load load load because the end is near near near and Watchmen, the first grafiction I’ve read, happens to be under “Now Showing” at SM MOA one Saturday.

Of course I’ve seen people snicker when they saw the trailer or the posters which remind them of X-Men or Justice League. But I know it’s going to be different, and I here propose ways of reading it:

See the graphic novel.

Alan Moore, creator of V for Vendetta and other politically charged comic book stories, has utopian fantasies, apathetic activism, and incredulity towards human nature’s innate goodness, all personified in his characters.

His story about the Watchmen is plausible given our technology and morality right now, but is surreal because it is happening right now. Turns out that the world (or America) is living a comic book life.

Was the story changed after it has been canned? Looks like the movie staff is a huge fan, so nothing was distorted, but cuts were inevitably made because of the overflowing intertextual devices (excerpts, inserts, box stories, multi-layered voice over, parallax or multiple perspectives) in the novel.

So for those who couldn’t dig the story, be thankful, this one has been simplified.

Right, the main characters are supposed to be glamorized New York based crime busters whose careers suddenly went black out (Yes, like The Incredibles).

But this storyline is no match to the so many other stories it tells, so instead of following the plot of what happened to the Minutemen and watchmen, it would be less frustrating to follow the individual stories of Rorschach (I won’t call him Walter or Kovacs, so that I may live longer), of Silk Spectre, or, Lorie Juspeczyk or Lorie Jupiter (the staple sexy, catty figure of action films), of NiteOwl, of Dr. Manhattan, of the Comedian (played by Jeffrey Morgan of Grey’s Anatomy and Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which both typecast him as an aged weirdo) and of Ozymandias who talks like he’s always on cam.

Suspend disbelief, or, expectations.

It is not for kids.

It is not for Xmen The Movie fans.

It is not for Marvel comic book fans.

It is not for modernists.

It is not for anti-America fundamentalists.

It is not for Robert Fulghum.

Appreciate postmodernism, or, nihilism.

It’s very postmodern, and how I am very much reminded of Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation!

Watchmen has a feel-good opening, probably because of its musical score and pastiche of scenes in nostalgic sepia. That’s postmodern: when one is hinged on something in the past, without any genuine care for or understanding or knowledge about the golden past which has been glossed over, making people actually forget the historical forces that forge them.

Now that’s when the movie make a statement.

Allusions to the wars with Vietnam and Soviet union among other infamous reputations of the US of A through TV screens and newspaper headlines make the historical background so vague, shallow, trivial, ephemeral, insincere, fake, Disneyland-ish, fantastic in other words, and detached so to speak. Perhaps the country looks at the damages it has done this way?

Like what Baudrillard tackles in Simulacra and Simulation (recently reported in my Socio class) there is no real world. Not even a real history. All these images, news reports, and different sorts of “mediatization” are a symptom of our fetish to simulacra and simulation, illusions and meaninglessness. It’s all about desire, of the eye, I would like to think.

And so, no real social change should be expected if the great depressions and wars of the past are nothing but a normal “happening” in world history. (If you are an anti-imperialist activist, this movie is not for you)

Watch the movie with a psych major.

It was my movie buddy who told me that Rorschach is the psychologist who devised the ink blot test to sort of diagnose people who are “convicted” of a personality disorder.

We would diagnose each character as a symbolism of what happened to the great American dream after all the wars that this superpower country waged.

We would also diagnose the entire film as schizophrenic.

But pause we would: isn’t the entire film a parody of psychology? (who believes in psychology anyway?)

Eat popcorn.

Enjoy. It’s just a movie. Come on.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

13 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
joseph
joseph
12 years ago

based ba ‘to dun sa conspiracy theory ng mga “Watchers,” yung nagbabantay sa mga tao mula pa non (pwedeng mga angel o kaya mga alien)? o superheroes lang talaga sila?

aimac
12 years ago

Interesting, I didn’t know about that conspiracy!

andrel
andrel
12 years ago

Yay! Watchmen! I loved the graphic novel. Why did Rorshach have to kick the bucket?

aimac
12 years ago

oooh I love the novel as well! yet the film itself feels like THE novel!

nick
nick
12 years ago

“(played by Jeffrey Morgan of Grey

aimac
12 years ago

yea! youre right there! Imagine a movie with him and johnny depp. father and son. haha

Kei Tan
Kei Tan
12 years ago

the film is like an idiot’s guide for non-Watchmen fans. en and I’s theory is that there might be a hint of subtle revenge from the director in approaching the film this way against the overly demanding studio producers–not all people are watchmen fans, so the director needs to take it on the literal level to tell the story. It’s not a surprise then that the creator of the graphic novel did not wish to see the film version. Or it may just be that the director is a sell out.

Kei Tan
Kei Tan
12 years ago

To nick:
I love No Country for Old Men! I’m dropping my other favorite films for this. Hands down. 🙂

redmike
11 years ago

i miss this film… wanna watch it again.. pero sana mabuhay si rorshach..

rene
rene
10 years ago

apparently, i missed this post of yours… anyway, 4 times i watched the movie and each time, i fall asleep. which is probably good directing because the book is designed to be read over and over again para mapagtahi yung mga sub-istorya sa main plot. and of course, Rorschach must die. as the ink blot test his character represents, he is vindictive punishing people based merely on speculations. (I wonder how many accused have been condemned because of the speculative test). nowhere in the book and in the movie was he projected as the hero even though he said he… Read more »

aileen
10 years ago

oh yeah, his death comes as the verdict to his killing of the innocent.

aileen
10 years ago

oh too bad, nick’s comment was partly deleted when i transferred database.

rene
rene
10 years ago

i wouldn’t say he killed innocents, really, as much as I wouldn’t say his victims are guilty. I’m just saying he does not belong in the world even before adrian killed half of new york and he has no place there after adrian did. it was pretty obvious why manhattan killed him. simply because he already know he would. adrian do not mind Rorschach going out. he said, no one would believe him anyway…


Top
13
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x