Watchmen, a 2009 movie directed by Zack Snyder and based on the graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore, is without a doubt my favorite super hero movie, and easily ranks among my top movies of any genre. The action is good, the cinematography is well done, the script is compelling, and the acting is effective. But what really draws me in are the characters, as is true for most great stories. In particular, how strongly I could relate to so many of them in a variety of ways. Each character reflected a different facet of my own experiences in a profound way.
Dr. Manhattan, with his highly rational thinking style, suppressed emotions, and somewhat alien perspective; I only wish I had his powers. Rorschach’s dedication to principles and to authenticity, and his willingness to take action even if he does so alone. The Comedian, with his absurdist outlook on life, though not the extreme cynicism and impulsivity which accompanies it. Both the second Nite Owl and Silk Spectre for their struggles figuring out who their true selves really are, and how they can fit with society, or not. As for my relation to Ozymandias, I wouldn’t want to be that much of a narcissist and I won’t claim to be the world’s smartest person, but I take great pride in what intelligence I do have, and value it deeply.
Since last years’ undertaking of research and reflection around the subject of autism, and my consequently more nuanced self-understanding, I decided to re-watch the movie again, this time paying close attention to some of the themes that really impact me. The following is likely to make more sense to those who have watched the movie (or read the novel), but it should still be moderately coherent even if you have not.
Note: Vague spoilers included, along with the occasional bit of strong language and mature subjects.