But then they cram this trait into the most nonsensical places. In Tim Burton's Batman, we get a scene where Jack Nicholson's Joker is on a rampage through a museum, destroying priceless works of art. One of his henchmen goes to slash a painting and the Joker stops him with, "No, I like that one." So even there, with that character, in that scene, they stop everything to show he appreciates what is being destroyed more so than his henchmen. But why would he? Before he was the Joker he was just a mob enforcer.
A fabulous mob enforcer.
Likewise, in The Professional (or Leon if you prefer to watch deleted scenes that were voted out by test audiences), the villain played by Gary Oldman murders women and children with a shotgun, and spends most of the film trying to kill a 12-year-old girl. Oh, and he has a classical music obsession. He listens to Beethoven on headphones while conducting drug business, and even monologues about music with his victims. What a classy, sophisticated guy! You know, for a corrupt DEA agent.
Of course it's not that there's no such thing as a DEA agent who listens to classical music in the real world, it's just weird that it's considered a sign of sociopathy in the world of film. The good guy is always a down-to-earth everyman. A John McClane type, or some other down-on-his-luck cop -- even Bruce Wayne, a billionaire, is shown to shun his fancy things in favor of his dank cave. He only flashes his wealth as part of his cover.
Being Batman is hard.
So is the idea that the people who enjoy stuffy, intelligent, ivory tower entertainment like operas and classical music are the enemy? Because that means they're not like us, the Joe Sixpack movie-goer? And that to be a hero, you need to enjoy down-to-earth entertainment, like ...
Well, like movies. Ah, OK. We get it now.
Read more by C. Coville here.
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