Now and Then.

Who the...?

Harendra Kapur.
Kyra Mathews.
Tejas Menon.

So, yes, weeks after it’s worldwide release, India finally has Watchmen playing in a theatre near you. Well not really, you, just anyone who lives near the handful of theatres where they’re showing it.
Tejas and I have been baffled at how ridiculous it is to launch easily the most anticipated film of the first quartile of the year three weeks late, when the same theatres screened Iron Man a day before the rest of the world. Credit to the censor board though, who saw fit to censor a bite and a penis, but not the fully nude and semi nude sex scenes.
Anyway, It came, and I watched it and before we get any deeper into this pseudo review, I need to establish a few things. Firstly, neither Kyra nor Tejas have seen the film yet so there won’t be any spoilers in this. The proper review will come in a few days when Tejas gets a chance to watch it. On this blog no one deserves the honor more.
Secondly, we could waffle on and on about how the film is good to the readers and bad to those who haven’t read it, or how the film is the greatest cinematic achievement since Speed Racer, but in this post here I’m not getting into that too much. I’ve read the novel and I fucking loved it. I saw the film and I fucking loved it. End of story.
Before going into the movie, I was suddenly struck by an appreciation for Alan Moore’s decision to withdraw his name from it. For those of you who have read any of his work, you’d understand that his style of writing and executing ideas is like no one else. His transitions between scenes, his visual puns, his symbolism and the amazing wit and weight attached to every letter and punctuation he uses, are so superbly sequenced, you can’t help but scratch your head wondering ‘Who the fuck IS this guy?’
So when some big Hollywood hot shot shows up saying ‘Hey let’s make this comic into a flick’ you can get the frustration. As a writer, Moore is like a director, a producer, a script writer and an assistant director. The construction of a graphic novel, then can be seen as the production of a movie. If someone showed up and changed all that up so they could squeeze it into a two and a half hour film which thousands will watch saying shit like ‘Dude this guy looks homo!’ or ‘Shit, what’s he saying yaar?’ (Please note: the morons who said these things were sitting right behind me) then I can appreciate Moore’s frustration at the adaptation.
Having said that, I must say, props to Zack Snyder and the amazing team who worked on this film. Not only have they stayed true to what Dave Gibbons felt should be depicted, but in certain key areas they’ve actually gone ahead and interpreted things in their own way, buffing up the cinematic experience. The kind of visual cleverness Moore is known for can’t really be translated on to screen, but Snyder’s gone right ahead and thrown in some really awesome camera movements and ideas himself.
I remember one of the criticisms leveled against Sam Dunne for Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey was that the whole thing was one sided and from a fan’s point of view. Several people have said the same thing about Snyder's adaptation, and in part they’re probably right, but you know what, I cannot imagine a greater homage to easily the best piece of fiction I’ve ever read.
Which brings me to my next point. After watching the film yesterday, I came home and Knocked Up a Seth Rogen film was on. As it ended, a Bob Dylan song started playing over the credits and I was suddenly hit with a huge appreciation of the impact of that one little Hobo singer. Is there anything or anyone Bob Dylan has not freaking touched?
If you’re going into the movie hoping it lives up to the graphic novel, or if you’re going in expecting it not to, then you should stop right there. After seeing this movie, the conflict between mediums that Moore is so critical of, has become hugely evident to me.
When you read the book, enjoy yourself. When you watch the film, enjoy yourself. When you’re done with it all, sit down in a dark corner wondering why your foundations are suddenly so shaky and remember this- Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and (for some) Zack Snyder did this to you, and to quote Jay and Silent Bob- "Reco'naize!"

3 responses to "Watchmen: A review or something like it..."

  1. Harry,

    I was going to post about this, but it's still a work in progress in my head.

    So without getting into the deets, since Tejas and Kyra haven't seen it, do you think the ending was dominated by more grey, or black and white?

    Quaint Murmur

  2. Let me put it this way. In the novel, theres a lot of grey and a lot of random reds and greens thrown in there to add to it.
    So when I saw the movie, yeaa, it was black as night. I can't say too black or not black enough but black anyway.
    Incidentally, today's verification word is 'patar'. I wonder what it means. Perhaps the next post will be on golf.


  3. Erm, right. Thank you Harry, for your time and patience in answering my question.
    My word is trylies. Does that mean Try Lies do you think? Erm. Okay bye.

    Quaint Murmur

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