Watchmen Opening Analysis UPDATED

In this opening title sequence for Zack Snyder’s 2009 adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s classic graphic novel,  a Bob Dylan song, ‘The Times they are a changin” plays (non-diegetically), this challenges convention somewhat as the song is quite subdued and relaxing, this is quite different than thrillers often are, as generally threatening sounding music would be used to add a sense of dread. Here, however, this song is used to juxtapose with some of the violent images shown here, creating an uneasy feeling as these two styles would not normally be together. Towards the beginning of the sequence, these images are much less violent, but as the sequence progresses they become increasingly violent, reflecting a possible idea that may permeate throughout the film, about how the times are changing (like the song). This change is also reflected by the change in colour tone of the camera, from a warmer, sepia-esque tone to a slightly colder, bluer tone, this new colour tone relates to the the typical thriller iconography, shadows as the cold blue feels closer to shadowy black. The flashes of a camera throughout this sequence reflects how these moments are being frozen in time and can never reclaimed, this, also, teases a typical thriller narrative of being watched.

Some of the more violent images are instantly juxtaposed with some slightly less violent images, for example, the murder of a superhero is shown just before we see a pregnant lady, bring new life into the world, the brutal murder of two lesbians that could only have been done by a crazy person is shown just after a superhero is being dragged away as a crazy person (which is still a dark image but not quite as dark as as the gruesome murder). These dark images display how this film is much darker than most in the superheroic realm, and establish part of a typical thriller narrative (death), however since there is some light to be seen, perhaps the film as a whole is not as dark as some of these images suggest. The bold, yellow title font further juxtaposes dark and light, since this font is bright but put with these violent images (This font also mirrors the iconography of the classic graphic novel). The way in which the images are edited together, how they fade in between each other, conveys how all of these events are can merge together, and effect each other, and that there is both good and bad in the world, that both effect outcomes of events.


2 thoughts on “Watchmen Opening Analysis UPDATED

  1. Pingback: Evaluation | Edward Haynes AS Media

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