[NOTE: The following posts were taken from the Matthew Goode thread in the movie forum. After this point, the conversation swerved back to the classic argument of whether or not Veidt's final action was morally justifiable. The conversation really belonged in this classic thread, so I extracted the relevant posts and put them here. --"Curiosity Inc."]
I pretty much always read Vynson's posts with a lot of respect and tend to say "wow, he's right" when I'm done reading...
Thank you for that.
...but I'm a little conflicted here.
Cool enough. Not even my wife agrees with me all the time (SECRET: She's right more than me...shhh... don't tell her I said that).
While I agree with you, Vyn, that Veidt couldn't care less about what other people think of him in public or private, I'm failing to see the racism in it.............Then again, maybe that's not even what you're implying/thinking of when you refer to the German accent as racist.
Two points where I think racism enters the picture here. And please, understand, I don't think Goode is being Racist. I don't think Zack is being racist. I don't think that Moore or Gibbons are racist by any stretch of the imagination. But the collective result will be stereotypical racism. Let me explain.
1. You are a German citizen. You sit in a Frankfurt movie house enjoying Watchmen and then, at the end, the bad guy, after killing millions of people, starts monologuing in a German accent. What is your reaction? I'd be thinking "no... they did NOT just go there? There's no reason for this shit. I had nothing to do with Hitler and I've got to hear this shit for the rest of my life?"
2. Yes, Veidt is a German name. And we have it told to us (by Veidt, an undependable source to be sure) that his parents came to this country in 1939. Why the hell do you think two Germans would leave Germany in 1939 and come to America?
And now, we're going to call them Nazis? No, Veidt's parents are supposed to be painted as good people. People who ESCAPED Nazi Germany. We're supposed to think this for a number of very good reasons.
One of those reasons is that when we see Veidt chewing a piece of grass while enjoying a beautiful day... leaning against his mother's fresh grave... we see that he doesn't give a shit... and if he doesn't give a shit about her, he certainly doesn't care about the Bernies or Joey and Aline or the Longs or anyone else at ground zero.
So we know what he is.
A German accent tells us we're wrong. It tells us that Veidt respected his Nazi parents' ideas and that he likely loved them and took on their wrongful thinking and that this is the reason for it. Very wrongheaded.
Whereas, in the novel, all of the ideas comparing Veidt to Hitler are in the subtext. The idea that one person has the right to destroy millions to make the world fit his ideal is evil. No matter his ideal. But once we hear a German accent, it comes up out of the subtext and becomes a plot point.
And comes off as stereotypical and racist and unimaginative and wrong.
Because Veidt is not a Nazi any more than Jon prefers red ants.
And in a movie, if something isn't an issue, we don't put it in the movie. That it's there informs the audience that Veidt is not necessarily a psychopath, but possibly a Nazi.
This destroys his character and furthers the stereotype that German accent = Villain.
And a theatre full of German teens in Frankfurt going "What the fuck?"
No one's trying to be racist, I understand.
But does that change the result?