Watchmen is indeed a movie with superheroes taken straight from a comic book. But it is nothing like Spiderman or X-Men. It isn’t filled with action, cheap one-liners & fancy gadgets. It is infact a story that takes place in the 1980s with flashbacks going back as far as 1940s. It is almost three hours long like The Dark Knight but unlike TDK, it moves at a very slow pace. It isn’t even the universal struggle between good and evil. It is then no surprise when I say that the audiences in the theatre were shouting for the interval to come save them. I too agree, that it wasn’t a masterpiece. But do you know why you should go watch it?
Going back to my last point about the movie, it isn’t the fight between good and evil. But it is about the line that separates what is good and what is evil. You see a person helping a handicap and it is obviously perceived as good, while you see a person torturing a cat and well, its simply bad. But it ain’t always this simple. Sometimes, certain actions that seem good today might actually be evil in the bigger context and vice-versa. At times, the line between good and bad is so blurred that it is almost impossible to distinguish between the two.
Though the movie doesn’t go deep into this question, I admire the simple fact that it did raise this question. There have been a few movies in the past where the hero goes out of his way and enters a mad killing spree for revenge or the greater good, but this movie has taken it to a completely different level. It sort of reminds you of the question the little kid asks at the courtroom entrance in the tamil movie Nayagan, “Are you a good person or a bad person?” to which the hero replies “I don’t know”. The movie Watchmen too, doesn’t give a direct answer. But the very idea put forward here, is to me, mind-boggling.
The movie also raises another un-answerable question - How valuable is human life? Though the movie doesn’t really answer these questions, it gives a very unique look into these questions. The answers lie in our own perception. That is exactly why I adore this movie. They say, art is something that has no purpose by itself. I believe art is more of a reflection of our own feelings. That is exactly what this movie is. By raising some controversial questions and not clearly stating the answers, the movie lets us come to our own moral conclusion about what is right and what is wrong.