‘who watches the watchmen?’


When we were walking out of the cinema a girl (presumably, hopefully, with a group of friends) immediately issued forth her verdict, and I quote: Tangina tangina tangina tangina. It was impossible not to hear her. She seemed unable to contain her displeasure even while inside the washroom.

And all the while I was thinking Okay, we get it, you’ve read the comic book. It’s almost one in the morning and my head feels heavy – we get it. You can shut up now.

I’ve read the comic book too, you know.

I saw the film with a friend (who had compli tickets, yay!) who hasn’t read the source material, and she was fine with the film adaptation. I was fine with it. The comic book is too complicated to be filmed in its entirety (like the comic-book-within-the-comic-book part, how in the world will they film that without reaching the 5-hour mark and messing up the film’s narrative?), but the filmmakers managed to tell the stories that needed to be told in under three hours. I actually saw that as a feat.

My favorite parts in the comic book were the origin stories of Rorschach and Doc Manhattan. Before I saw the film I thought the origin stories were going to be muddled, if not cut altogether. But they are there in the film adaptation, and I was surprised to be satisfied.

The film is loyal to the book. So loyal that, since I was re-reading the first few pages the afternoon before we went to the cinema, I found myself at times zoning out. I remembered another friend saying the film is loyal but is booooring, and now I’m thinking, perhaps it’s boring because we still remember the comic book. Maybe?

But the film is well-made. Great visuals. I loved the opening credit sequence. There are cuts in the copy of the film distributed in this country, and I still don’t get why they had to cut those parts. They’re having sex, what’s the big deal?

At times the violence felt over-the-top, as though the scenes were there simply for their surround sound potential, but it could just be me.

It was so weird to see these words during the opening credits: Based on the graphic novel – and then Dave Gibbons’ name. Oh dear. So Alan Moore was that serious about disowning this project.

I don’t know. The film wasn’t that bad. What do you think? :)

Photo from WatchmenDVD.com

My fave film critic, Roger Ebert, has written a lovely, lovely review (and I’m quite sure he didn’t read the comic book before seeing the film). Read it here.

2 thoughts on “‘who watches the watchmen?’”

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