To Watch or Not To Watch?

March 5, 2009


Once the opportunity to participate in an early screening of Watchmen was presented to me, I jumped right on it.  When I found out that the director, Zack Snyder, was holding a q&a afterwards, my salivary glands went into overdrive like some sort of failed Pavlovian experiment.  I’ve been waiting for this movie to come out for a long while now.  The only graphic novel to grace Time‘s list of all-time 100 best novels, Watchmen is much more than its medium suggests.  The layers, the flawed protagonists, the blurring distinction between good & evil – everything about the novel is practically graphic novel lore – the “Moby Dick” of graphic novels all wrapped in a 12-part serial comic series with the ending sneaking up to smack the (*&)( out of your sensibilities.

It’s quite the undertaking.  You don’t just go and take Handel’s Messiah, add a kick and a snare, loop it and call it a hip hop beat.  True adaptation takes time and vision, and luckily, the movie got the treatment it deserved. Compared to what the original screenplay had in mind, this final product shines that much more brightly.  Without giving away too much, all I really have to say is that I believe that the carefully wrought tone of the movie stays true to the feel of the graphic novel, and though there are some awkward scenes, those very same scenes are also necessary and intrinsic to the weaving of the story.  Just a warning – this movie would probably be best experienced after having read the graphic novel.  Another warning – this isn’t a superhero movie.  It’s a movie about complex human beings.  It just so happens that these particular human beings are costumed heroes with their own complexes.  Go figure.  Oh, and one final warning – Rorschach can and will destroy you.

Relevant video links – 1 Video from the q&a portion via live webstream from my iPhone.  Video and sound quality aren’t good at all, but you might be able to catch some of the goodies that were said.

Who watches the watchmen?

pic via