Saturday, August 9, 2014

Child's Play



(Image credit: Batman Forever)

A friend of mine once told me liking superhero films is chidish especially those  that have received critical acclaim, like the 1989 dark and brilliant film by Tim Burton, Batman and the 1978 Richard Donner epic Superman starring Christopher Reeve. Well apparently this friend was 6 years younger to me, and when he got to the movie watching age, superman and batman were probably just kids stuff to him. He wasn’t there to witness the great movies which people of all ages love. 

Superman especially is a character the whole world loves. He is someone that has touched the hearts of everyone for being a hero for the people. A savior from another planet, who lives among us as us, and his sole reason for living is to save our behinds. From a movie perspective, the character was brilliantly portrayed and Christopher Reeve was crystallized forever as the boy in blue. He made us love the character so much and for generations to come, he is the benchmark for future superman actors. Richard Donner directed the most amazing superman film to date, with a very memorable score, brilliant acting and a classic plot that is right out of the comic books. It is no doubt that this movie made superman the most loveable superhero for all generations. 

Coming to Tim Burton’s 1989 dark and morose epic, Batman, one can never think on first view, that it’s a kid’s movie. Actually, I could never watch Batman as a kid. The Joker scared the jeepers out of me. However, when I recently watched it as an adult, I realized what I missed out as a young kid. Tim Burton directed a masterpiece, a dark opera, where two people of opposite sides of the coin collide. The psychology behind the characters was portrayed very well. Jack Nicholson played the most wicked and psychotic villain every portrayed in a movie and was brilliantly acted. No doubt he got first billing. 

Michael Keaton played a confused and depressed Bruce Wayne, who is haunted by a past that he fights. He plays a very complicated character and its easy to feel sorry for him. When Kim Basinger plays the damsel in distress, she becomes the comfort that Bruce Wayne is looking for in his life, but he comes to reality that he is Batman inside and his public life is his mask. He finds in Joker a wicked version of himself. The connection is superbly depicted. Tim Burton sets the mood right, and gives Batman the treatment it so rightly deserved. No doubt it was the biggest movie of 1989, and gave batman fans the movie they have been waiting for a long time. A movie that is so complicated for even adults to comprehend, because of the dark and complex characters in this neo- gothic opera, that Burton made it his own and depicted the opera of our own lives. 

My other personal favorite in the same series was Batman Forever, arguably the last great film of the Burton era, had Batman deal with more complex personal demons as well as a complex love life. Add to that, he had to deal with two villains who were causing trouble in Gotham City. He, as Bruce Wayne, also had to help a young adult who recently lost his family at the hands of one of the film villains, and was dealing with the same demons that Bruce himself had to deal and reconcile with. Ultimately, he joins hands with him as Robin, to aid the cause of delivering justice to the city's criminals and to make sure no one suffers the fate which both these heroes have. 

Christopher Nolan revived the dark world of the Batman with the Dark Knight Trilogy that did exceptionally well at the box office as well as with critics, joining Nolan to the great list of superhero film makers mentioned above. The Iron Man, Sam Raimi and Marc Webb Spider Man films also are great films that remind us of the hero inside all of us, and the choice that all of us have: to do the right thing. 

What my point is that superheroes, like science fiction is not child’s play. Some of these characters are very complex and live in worlds that we can connect to. We can see inside a man that has a dual personality. We all carry some hurt inside; there is a side of us always hidden in the shadows, and one that is displayed in the public. 

We are all Batman in a way. We carry some guilt, some fear, hidden demons inside us, and we fight it every day just to survive. At the end of the dark tunnel, there is always light, and we are all looking to find the end of that tunnel in our lives. Also there is a superman inside all of us, someone who cares for the needy and less fortunate, someone wanting to be a hero for ourselves and other people in our life. Someone who can reach out and touch the sky, he is one person that continues to elude and fascinate us. And then there are some people who call it child’s play. Go figure?


GameGrep

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