Villains, Purpose, and Storytelling Genius

9:51 PM

*Spoilers in this post*
I am not a fan of villain stories. In fact, I'm pretty set against them. I mean, most stories about villains (that I have both read and read about) make the villain more understandable and lickable, but no less a villain. Now I'm all for showing that villains are just as diverse and heroes, but I don't like stories that turn them into heroes. So why would I like Megamind? Mostly because it is a story of redemption.
For those of you who might not have seen this movie here is a super short summary *with spoilers* it's the story of this blue alien that is the villain in Metro City and is always trying to outwit the good guy, Metro Man. Metro Man is a superhero very much styled as a superman type. This movie deals with the aftermath of Megamind actually winning in a battle against the good guy and finding he doesn't have a lot of purpose in life without a good guy to fight.

This movie showcases choices and their consequences in a powerful way. From the beginning, when Megamind realized he couldn't be as good as Metro Man, he made a choice to be the bad guy. So when he defeats Metro Man in one of their battles, he's faced with being a bad guy without a good guy to fight.

While this story wrapped Megamind's crisis with a lot of humor, great visuals, and a sidekick to keep things from growing dark, it showed how empty victory can be. Megamind triumphs over his enemy, but it leaves him without a purpose or goal. His solution to create a new hero for him to fight.

While there is a lot in this movie that I could cover, I think I stick with this concept right here. Let me put it in a concise form:

It is possible to deal with a real, deep issue without it feeling dark.

We all feel at times like we are purposeless and going through the motions of life. Sometimes, we are doing what we know is right but it feels empty. There are also times when what gives us purpose is stripped away. Most of us who have reached maturity know this feeling at least in part.

Megamind has a moment of crisis that no one around him understands. He is feeling purposeless, but his best friend doesn't understand. His best friend just keeps reminding him that he reached his goal of defeating his enemy. Of course, the majority of people see him as a villain and assume of course that he is overjoyed at just reaching his goal.

The use of both visual ad verbal humor were used in great proportion to offset the seriousness of the crisis Megamind finds himself in. He talks out his problem with drinking bird toy. While the conversation is pretty raw, the fact he is talking to a toy makes the whole thing a little funny. Added in the piles of loot around him that also give a humorous backdrop and the fact he's in some crazy PJ's, just adds some spice. Lastly, his best friend, Minion, adds humor to the scene as well as asks questions that give the audience a better grip on what is going on.

Every time I watch this movie, I'm struck by how humor and serious are combined to bring out real emotions. As a writer, here are three takeaways from this scene:

1. Combining humor and seriousness often helps people actually listen to a hard message.

2. Giving villains their own goals and reasons is important.

3. Even houmours scenes can contain deep truths

Next up: Spock, Data, and Emotions

Content notes for Megamind: If you are not used to sci-fi or superhero genre movies, some of the concepts in this movie might not be to your liking. Megamind has a device that can dehydrate people and objects (does not kill them) and he can also change his appearance to look like other people using another device. While neither of these are used in a scary way, some people might find them disturbing. Some mild crude humor in a couple places and mild language that mainly consists of euphemisms. There is a lot of animated destruction of property, but there isn't blood or deaths in this movie.

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