Thursday, July 24, 2014

Is it a bird..Is it a plane.. Its Superman!!

I like super hero movies. A lot. I go and watch the movies on a 3d screen now days (even though my head usually hurts). I also like watching TV series on action heroes.

As with most of the TV shows I came to know about in college , even Smallville, was actually watched by my roommate, Nupur, on the other side of the room. I could only hear. And sometimes it so happened that I chanced upon some scenes. I did think Clark Kent was very nice looking. Decent. And Lex Luthor had charisma and style. He wouldn't have turned bad guy if Clark trusted him with his secret, is a verdict I passed many years ago. But my favourite was Chloe. The brainy super resourceful news reporter. Almost Hermione like feel to her, except that she got a little too caught up on the super powers stuff. Then came Louis and I became a fan of her as well. Smart and gutsy, good looking, perfect mate for simple sweet super man.

But this article isn't really about Smallville and the great heroines it had. Nowadays whenever a new super hero movie comes out you can almost predict the story. The super hero will be very smoothly effortlessly saving the world till he is struck so bad by the villain that he is almost near losing everything. Then the remaining of the movie will be how he being very human like with limitations overcomes everything and saves the day.

What confounds me is why has it suddenly become the norm to make super heroes so 'human' these days. Batman in The Dark knight was invincible. The silent vigilante so strong that nothing could touch him. And in The Dark Knight Rises he has to be shown grappling with middle age. Why? In all these years some special edition comics may have dealt with it, but am sure majority just wanted to show a billionaire who as dusk descends puts on his mask and takes his gadgets and heads out to protect Gotham from the scum that threaten to infest it.

The worst for me was the new Superman movie that had come out last year. Thor II also had a super hero learning to become normal before he can fight dark forces to save every realm that exists. Wolverine feels lonely and old. And the list goes on. I most probably don't even know how many I missed.

So why this necessity to make super heroes appear less godlike and more next door friendly neighbor like? In fact I sometimes ruminate that regular non extraordinary guys in movies are shown more powerful and invincible than their actually jump-across-buildings, burn-buildings-with laser-in-eyes counter parts. CIA, FBI, special ops are more resilient to death and destruction than Marvel and DC comic characters these days.

Logic tells me it has to do with the way we perceive stuff. If they give us a character flying in bright colors, untouchable, indestructible and with a perfect social life we will not identify with them. Perhaps it is true, yet I don't mind watching Superman just be superman with enough powers to save the day. After all if I wanted to watch regular guys doing extraordinary stuff then I would not be in the theater ,with my 3d glasses on, watching a 'super hero movie', right?

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