Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Narrative - The Hero's Journey - Man Of Steel

Man of Steel is a 2013 superhero film featuring the DC Comics character SupermanDirected by Zack Snyderand written by David S. Goyer, the film stars Henry CavillAmy AdamsMichael ShannonKevin CostnerDiane LaneLaurence FishburneAntje TraueAyelet ZurerChristopher Meloni, and Russell CroweMan of Steel is a reboot of the Superman film series that retells the character's origin story. In the film, Clark Kent learns that he is a superpowered alien from the planet Krypton and assumes the role of mankind's protector as Superman, but finds himself having to prevent General Zod from destroying humanity.

The purpose of this investigation is to decipher key elements that run throughout the film, we will be looking through the lens that is known as 'The Hero's Journey', a concept that was developed by Joseph Campbell. A structure that is to be believed to run at the core of most modern age films, and heavily influence story decisions the screen writer may have included in the script.

Also please note that the films structure is non-linear to this particular criteria, but the investigation will be running in the order of the diagram supplied beneath this text. 

The Call to Adventure would be when Jor-El sends Kal-El to earth with the codex in the hopes of preserving the Kryptonian genome. This is the initial bump that sends the story along, if baby Kal-El never was sent from the protection of his parents into the void of space then there wouldn't be a adventure for us to observe.

The Refusal of the Call would be Clarks inability to fit into society, he recognises he is very different to the people around him. This takes place throughout a portion of the film but runs from his early childhood until the point he is standing within the ancient kryptonian craft.

The Supernatural Aid would be when the key for Kal-El's pod that unlocks a projection of his father's consciousness. Until this point Kal-El has struggled making moral decisions and relied solely on the support of his human parents. It is only when presented with his true heritage and the ascended status it brings that we recognise the vessel in-front of him is wise and here to guide him.

Crossing The Threshold would also be when Kal-El meets his father Jor-El, and steps outside the ship knowing his true self. Until this point he was uncertain of where he came from and what he is here to accomplish. The experimentation of flight for the first time is the films way of showing that Superman is beginning to embrace his true self for the first time.

The Belly of the Whale is also when Clark exhibits powers and needs to control them and hide them from the world around him. This can be shown at multiple parts of the film where there is tension created by his presence and how humans can't seem to comprehend that a being like Superman can exist.

The Road of Trials can be when Superman steps willingly onto the kryptonian ship and is later probed of information regarding the codex. He is conjoined with the mind of Zod for a brief period of time and is tempted with the idea of rejoining the crusade that Zod has chosen to undertake in light of Kryptons destruction.

Meeting the Goddess is when we meet Lois Lane,  she advises Clark on who he should become. Her guidance also falls into teachings already given to Clark by his human father Jonathan Kent. Superman will willingly do anything to protect the Goddess from any impending dangers.

Woman as Temptress again would be meeting Lois Lane, she helps Kal-El ground himself to humanity. You could also say his Earth mother is also a temptress, because he looks up to both of them and seeks to protect them.

Atonement with Father is the meeting Jor-El's projection and learning of his inheritance. And also you can consider Jonathan Kent telling Clark he isn't of this world as a revelation given to atone for keeping Clark in the dark about his true self.

Apotheosis (God Like Status): The onlookers to the fight between Superman and Zod over the streets of Metropolis. They cannot participate in the fight because they aren't even close to the same level as the Krytonians. 

The Ultimate Boon is the 'Saving of Humanity'

The Refusal Of Return is Zod wanting the Codex to revive the Kryptonians, and Superman refuses the return to the Kryptonians way of thinking. The return being here that Superman has the chance to relinquish the Codex and further the Kryptonian line. Saving his race, something that his father Jor-El entrusted him with.

The Magic Flight is when Superman makes the decision to stand against the Kryptonians and to protect humanity from annihilation. He flies from Zod's flag ship and zooms off to save Lois.

Rescue from Without is Just before Perry White and Co. are crushed by gravitational forces, Superman destroys the anchor to the world engine in the Indian sea. It can also be the point where Lois's escape pod is breaking apart on re-entry into earths atmosphere.

Crossing the Return Threshold, is when Zod is the last threat and Superman must defeat and later dispatch his foe, he needs to do this for the world to become peaceful from the alien threat that Zod poses. Its his last task to do as Superman at this point, One last trial.

Master of Two Worlds when Clark becomes a reporter at the Daily Planet, able to stay undercover while still helping the world as Superman. Revisits his fathers grave (Jonathan Kent).

Freedom To Live is Superman taking down a surveillance drone that was trying to follow him, and explains to the government that he deserves privacy like everyone else. 

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