A Beautiful Lie in 'Batman v Superman
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Arts Entertainment

Perfection: A Beautiful Lie?

'Batman v Superman' is guilty of daring to be different, to deconstruct these supposedly infallible heroes, and putting them through the most primitive human struggles.

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Perfection: A Beautiful Lie?
Wanrer Bros. Pictures

"There was a time above... a time before... there were perfect things... diamond absolutes. But things fall... things on earth. And what falls... is fallen. In the dream, they took me to the light. A beautiful lie."

Despite being one of the most controversial movies in recent times, 'Batman v Superman' (for the sake of brevity, henceforth referred to as 'BvS') by director Zack Snyder has certain qualities that make it, in my opinion, a standout feature in the bloated number of superhero movies being released in recent years.

People don't like change. When you've grown up with something that has a very specific purpose or behavior, you become accustomed to that. The biggest flaw of BvS is that it takes a bold approach to the characters, by deviating from their traditional roots. It paints a world where Batman is a disillusioned cynic and has lost faith in humanity, calling the "light" of good "a beautiful lie" due to his seemingly never-ending battle against evil.

"Twenty years in Gotham. How many good guys are left? How many stayed that way?"

Numerous times throughout the movie, he questions morality in humans, as well as in Superman, as he does not trust him to handle his immense power and put it to good use all the time, claiming that "He has the power to wipe out the entire human race. I have to destroy him."

"The fever, the rage, the feeling of powerlessness that turns good men... cruel."

This, of course, is extremely ironic, as he turns into a manifestation of what he so passionately hates and vows to stop - the misuse of power. He's an allusion to the legend of Lucifer; falling from the heavens and into the darkness. Of course, the pivotal moment when he realizes this is also doused in controversy - these thoughts come rushing into his mind as he towers over Superman, who begs him to save "Martha" with his dying breath. Ultimately, he feels powerless, as if he were once again a mere eight-year-old boy, watching his parents die in front of him, unable to do anything to prevent it from happening. But now, he can stop it.

"Righting wrongs for a ghost, thinking I'm here to do good. Superman was never real."

Superman, isn't his usual cheery self either, as he questions his own actions and values, beginning to feel the political and emotional fallout of the destruction caused by his hero work. He learns that his actions have consequences and that he can and will be held accountable for them, because, despite best intentions, it is impossible to overlook the effects of his exploits around the world. In a sense, contrary to popular belief, Snyder's Superman is the truest incarnation to the fundamental principles of 'truth, justice, and the American way' that the character was founded upon.

He holds himself accountable to the public of the United States, appearing in front of the Senate for his trial, as he wishes to work towards establishing peace through the best use of his powers, to not let anyone feel discriminated against, and to provide a just resolution to the controversy surrounding him. He surrenders himself to the rule and wishes of the people, putting himself in their service, upholding the principles of American democracy.

"No man in the sky intervened when I was a boy to deliver me from Daddy's fist and abominations. I figured out way back if God is all-powerful, He cannot be all good. And if He is all good, then He cannot be all-powerful. And neither can you be."

Through the unique, unprecedented characterizations of these cultural icons, the film raises a multitude of important philosophical questions, such as the debate between absolute power and absolute virtue (apologies for the shameless self-plug). Certainly, the film isn't without its flaws. It's not perfect, but it's pretty close to being a masterpiece.

'Batman v Superman' is guilty of daring to be different, to deconstruct these supposedly infallible heroes, and putting them through the most primitive human struggles. Perhaps, it is disliked because it ultimately suggests that there are no perfect things, that even the best of us can fall, that a utopia is merely a beautiful lie.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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