It takes a highly skilled amount of balance between humour, darkness, heroism, and reality to deliver a masterpiece like Shazam! Thankfully, with Zachary Levi as a convincing 15 year old superhero in the body of an adult, and DC’s excursion and experiment with a lighter, more natural color palette, Shazam! succeeds in its primary goal of being a happy, light-hearted, humorous, and popular superhero film.
Old is Gold
No, I don’t mean this in a bad way. Recently, I chose to watch Christopher Reeves’ Super man ( I know, a bit late to the party but hey, no judging!), and while I reserve my views on the story and momentum, I was, however, impressed by the simple, light-weight, and natural tone of the movie; and it is the same tone which has made director David F Sandberg’s Shazam! a success. The movie is simple and clean, and spends more time in action and plot than Billy’s origin story. The brooding and dark palette usually associated with DC is missing, and that dearth is refreshing, to say the least.
Something for the Adults to ponder in Shazam!
I came across a review which said that, and I quote, “Shazam is cinematic proof of what psychologists have been trying to tell parents for decades – tread carefully, the kids are counting on you!”, and I couldn’t agree more. 15 year old Billy Batson, introduced as a prankster boy who continues to escape from foster homes every now and then in search of his mother, is as significant as his alter ego. While Zachary Levi delivers a beautiful performance of the superhero, it is his optimistic search of his mother that lands the movie in the right position.
The reason Shazam is so happy and snug is that it’s simply about being happy no matter what the odds. It’s about optimism, and friendship, and family; family not united by blood but stronger together anyway.
I have been a DC fan ever since I binge watched all the three parts of Nolan’s The Dark Knight. From then on, Man of Steel hit some right chords but both Dawn of Justice, and Justice League fell several leagues short of their expectations. I would have given up had it not been for Wonder Woman and Aquaman, and Shazam! gives me yet another reason to carry on. The happy-go-lucky, optimistic, and natural tone of the movie is a pleasure to watch.