Our Contributors On: The Super Man and Jesus
From my inbox this morning:
"I went to see "Superman Returns" Saturday. It is obviously an allegory of the life of Jesus- I had never made that connection before- I look forward to hearing what you think-"
... but here some contrary thoughts from Mrs. J, as may appear in an upcoming edition of World magazine:
A few thoughts on (recent reviews):
"While I completely agree with the assessment of Superman Returns' directional, stylistic, and plot strengths, I think (we) may have overlooked a major problem with the film in two ways. Your comparison of Superman with Christ has major flaws which lend to many more moral problems than your mention of Lois' live-in fiance situation.
Recall that halfway through the story Lois Lane's illegitimate son begins to display amazing superpowers, and towards the end of the film, Lois whispers ambiguously into Superman's ear that the son is his.
Perhaps the director attempted to portray Superman as a Christ figure, but Superman's scoundrelesque behavior to Lois and the son she bears him destroys any such resemblance. The last scene of the film shows both Lois and the son of Superman alone in the windows of their home, asking him when he'll be back. It looks more like joint-custody than joined reconciliation.
The true hero in this film would have to be Lois' poor fiance, Richard. Although he lives with Lois, he is trying to marry her, restore her honor, and assume a role as father and husband, though he is deceived in this and pushed aside when Superman returns.
The family situation in this film is hazy, confusing, and pitiful. Lois can no longer be the gutsy and resiliant reporter we all knew and loved. Now she sits alone on rooftops smoking cigarettes and crying, wondering what to do about her kind fiance and her absent superhero, and in the meantime trying in vain to promptly pick up her son from school.
Superman can no longer be the hero we search for. He has a shady past of loving and leaving, who creates domestic messes instead of resolving them.
Lex Luther's crime in the film involves taking Superman's secret powers and using him for his own evil purposes. It seems that Hollywood has done the same in taking a virtuously moral hero and transforming him into an adulterously abandoning cad.
Don't get me wrong, the film was beautiful: lovely icons of American tradition abound, but Superman's behavior in this film is anything but Christlike. Don't mislead us."