Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Last Friday, one of my favorite and critically acclaimed books (graphic novels) came out as a movie. This was Watchmen. If you haven't read the graphic novel I urge you to do so because I think it's superb. Nonetheless, I feel that the movie did an excellent job representing the book and even though a few things were left out and the ending was slightly changed, it still did not waver far from the book's point.
How does Watchmen relate to Russia? Well for one it was set in the Cold War Era. And, there are multiple references to nuclear war with Russia not to mention a scene with a stand in for Khrushchev meeting with Fidel Castro.
The book centers around the lives of six superheroes/vigilantes that are faced with legislation forcing them to retire and a mysterious plot to kill superheroes. But, to focus more on the parts with Russia, throughout the novel, America fears the impending doom of a nuclear war. However, the twist is Dr. Manhattan. He is one of the main characters, a superhero that has, virtually, limitless powers. The others are simply good fighters with high-tech gadgets (except Ozymandias who's almost an Olympic class athlete and the world's smartest man, but let's not dwell on that too much). Dr. Manhattan has had his intrinsic field destroyed and in the process can convert matter and energy to whatever he wants e.g. he can teleport and levitate things. As soon as Dr. Manhattan comes onto the screen, Nixon, president of America, has a foolproof way to defend America against nuclear bombs. Russia becomes scared at this thought and begins amassing nuclear bombs in hopes that some will be unable to be blocked by Dr. Manhattan if nuclear war occurs. At the same time a group of scientists/physicists have created the "doomsday clock" which warns of impending nuclear destruction. Threats of a nuclear war become higher and higher and then when Dr. Manhattan leaves, they are almost realized. With the fruition of Ozymandias' plan, America and Russia together fear the threat of an outside force (book- aliens, movie- Dr. Manhattan) and forget their differences to establish peace. This book is an excellent read and there's much more to it than I've revealed. I highly recommend it.
Dr. Manhattan (movie) further below Rorschach (left book, right movie)