Growing up, we always side with the heroes. The villains scare the hell out of our childhood imaginations. We want to be the good guy and it’s difficult to see the perspective of antagonists.
As we go through life and see more of the world, things change inside of us. Suddenly the dark, twisted villain doesn’t seem so bizarre anymore. In fact, the bad guy starts to be more relatable to our values than the hero.
Why is that? What does the world do to create people who side more with villains? What changes alter our brains to empathize with those committing horrendous crimes?
As we go through life, gain experience, watch years pass by, lose friends, and adapt, our spirits start to die. Our enthusiasm for life in general slowly fades away. We begin to work on autopilot and learn to hate others as we are cheated, burned, betrayed, or abandoned time and time again. Our hopes and dreams are sucked down the drain and we come to expect the absolute worst of everyone we meet.
So naturally, as we see new superhero/villain movies as worn out, scarred adults, we start to relate more to the bad guys and see the good guys as annoying or over-the-top. We know that no one is perfect, and the idea of a perfect person is just insulting. A perfect, squeaky clean hero is entirely unrelatable to those of us living in the real world.
In both Aquaman and Avengers: Infinity War, I realized that I understood the villains’ perspectives. Not saying I agreed with their methods, but I get it. I get why they did what they did.
If you haven’t seen the trailer for JOKER yet, it’s amazing. Here’s the link: https://youtu.be/t433PEQGErc
“Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?”
“I used to think that my life was a tragedy, but now I realize – it’s a comedy.”