Megamind Beyond its Years—an AICE Media Studies Essay

Photo credit: collider

By Quentin Carrero

Looking back on my life, and my experience with various pieces of cinema one film has stood out above all the rest and had a profound impact on me. Megamind. Repeated viewings of the film have only heightened my numerous revelations of life shown to me through the proxy of the titular character—Megamind. The movie is a gripping tale of many mature themes, love and loss, crime and punishment, racism, predestination to evil, and complex gender dynamics. This is why the film has touched me so.

The most obvious thematic element of the hit film is its take on good and evil and the way that people are predestined to one by the way they are viewed by society at large—a view that is heavily influenced by race. From the beginning Megamind is told by his parents that he is destined for…something. The cut off at the end of this touching bit of dialogue leaves an ambiguous air to the prophetic message. Megamind is unable to know what he is from birth and as such is a blank slate when arriving on earth alongside his foil character Metroman. This façade of equality between the two is quickly shattered when the duo’s treatment by humans is quickly juxtaposed. Metroman is adopted by a rich and influential family whilst Megamind finds himself incarcerated, as a child nonetheless. The reasoning for this from a narrative perspective is simple chance. However, the truth runs deeper—race. Metroman is near identical to a white male human being—where as Megamind is bright blue and possesses a ridiculously large head—making him stand out as a minority even among the prison that has been filled to the brim with other “people of color.” This is carried out throughout the movie with Megamind being looked at as a criminal despite his lack of illegal actions, a vicious cycle that ends up with Megamind tragically internalizing these beliefs and becoming the supervillain he is seen as. This gripping take on race relations in western countries showed vice. An intelligently designed proxy characterone whose minority status can be appreciated by anyone at any descent due to his inhuman colorationakin to that of the generic yellow Lego Man- simply shifted to Blue. This has touched me greatly admist the modern talk of issues like the school to prison pipeline that Megamindand many real people have fallen victim to.

Additionally—although less complex is the take on modern relationships and toxic masculinity showed by the “relationship” between Roxanne Rictchie and Hal. Hal’s entitled behavior to Roxanne’s affections is shown when Hal is powerless in the form of overbearing and inappropriate behavior towards Roxanne. However, when Hal comes into power via one of Megamind’ s laboratory experiments this behavior goes beyond simply being a creep or a stalker into being a full-on abuser. With Hal’s newfound powers he decides to use them to endanger Roxanne’s life—with the intent of saving her to gain her affection through either gratefulness or Stockholm Syndrome. When he inevitably fails—with Roxanne turning him down despite the danger to her life—he decides to extract revenge by stranding her atop a skyscraper leaving her to die and proceeds to turn to a superpowered crime spree. This reflects the danger of male sexual entitlment—especially those with great power—in this case physically—but in reality this can include social or monetary power. This rings true in the modern era amidst various scandals involving members of high society.

Cumulatively, Megamind was truly a film that was wise beyond its years, casting a spotlight on issues that are still struggling to gain traction more than a decade post-releasesuch as nuanced race relations, and culture. This is what has made this movie so important to me, and so worth watching and rewatching, where it never fails to dissapoint. The life lessons imparted unto me are unforgettableand will likely only mature with time.

 

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