Monday, July 28, 2008

Loving the Villain

The Dark Knight is breaking records. It's making money. And it's still in my head. I kind of want to see it again. It didn't change Brody's life. He says, what movie does? I think movies can change your perspective...if not your life.

Everyone's talking about Heath. About what an incredible job he did portraying the Joker as a complete psychopath. Without remorse. Without conscience. Without purpose. At the Pushing Daisies panel at Comic Con, Lee Pace talked about how much he loves playing Ned. Then he said to the person asking the question(I can't remember what the question was), "I see you have Heath Ledger on your t-shirt and everyone's talking about whether or not his role as the Joker played a part in what happened to him, and I think yes absolutely it did because you can't play that kind of role without it hurting your soul." (not an exact quote, just the best I remember it)

I saw lots of Jokers this weekend. Little kids dressed up as jokers. The Joker on t-shirts. At the Heroes panel, a young boy got up and said to Zachary Quinto, "I just have to say Silo (yeah, Silo) you are the most awesome hero ever!" Sylar is a psychopath, too.

Why do people love villains? I agree that for a good story, you need a good villain. I love a well written villain as much as the next person. (Ben on LOST anyone?) But I love cheering for the good guy, and I don't so much understand cheering for the bad guy. Even when he's really sympathetic. So...
If you love villains, please enlighten me. Tell me why people want to dress up as someone as clearly evil as the Joker was in Dark Knight. I want to understand. :)


Kim & Jason said...

First of all I have to say, Heath Ledger is (was) yum-yum-yummy! I had loved him as an actor from 10 Things I Hate About You, The Patriot, A Knights Tale and Four Feathers. Its so sad what happened to him, and I do agree that playing the Joker probably propelled him closer to the edge he was already walking on.

But to answer your question, why do people love villians? I'm not sure - maybe its because those who struggle with feeling like outcasts can identify with those that openly rebell? I've often wondered at the same time, what is it about my friends that draws them to the bad boys?? Huh, good question though!

sarah chia said...

I think that lines have been blurred between good and bad.

As far as Heroes goes, "Silo" (lol) has scenes that make you want to feel sorry for him. Such as when he is devastated at the thought of killing innocent "unspecial" people as a human bomb. He goes to his mom for help and she tells him it's not okay to be a watchmaker and to just be "normal." He ends up killing her accidentally and feels like crap about it. But the episode makes him a little bit harder hearted.

The more we see things about what motivates the bad guys, the more we tend to feel like they are justified.

I personally convulse everytime I see Sylar. I think he's grody, but others may see him as the underdog who had a rough life that made him who he is, and they're rooting for him to pull through and gain the power.

As a final thought, how young was this "young boy"? I don't tend to think little kids ought to be watching Heroes anyway.

Jen said...

Even Ben (from LOST) seems to have two sides to his personality. It seems like he is a villain, but maybe not.

I really don't understand it either. Maybe because they get all the great lines, cool costumes/makeup, etc..

Heath Ledger--what a huge loss to movies. Hope it wasn't this role. Didn't they get Jack Nicholson on video saying something like "I tried to warn him." and people said it might be about the Joker. That gave me chills.

J. Kaye Oldner said...

I always thought we loved villains, because without them there could be no good guys. Of course that doesn't apply to Joker t-shirts.

Hmmmmm....that's sort of scary.

Amy said...

Kim, that's a really great and somewhat disturbing thought.

Sarah...grody. Love it. Haven't heard that word for awhile! But I just do not like him either. That episode with his mother made me like him less. While I can kind of see why he's so messed up I don't think he's justified. The boy was maybe 10? I don't think kids should be watching that stuff either. There isn't much on tv kids should be watching.

Jen..that's freaky I hadn't heard that. You're right about Ben, he's very well written (and acted) and complex. A master manipulator, yet you can't help but wonder if he's right..still, he has an obvious disregard for the lives of those he doesn't care about as demonstrated in the season finale.

J. Kaye, I agree a villain is necessary for us to see how our good guys shine...but it's the people who love the villains best I wonder about.

Thanks for chiming in everyone!

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