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Eric Draven - Modern Byronic Hero - (part two)

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Avatar for deki
Written by   52
1 year ago

"People once believed that when someone dies, a crow takes his soul to the world of the dead. But sometimes something very bad happens and because of the great sorrow that accompanies it, that soul cannot find its peace. Then sometimes, but only sometimes, a crow can return the soul to the world of the living to correct the injustice done. ”(Crow, 1994; 00:00:46)

The very beginning of the film suggests that we will be introduced to a character with whom we can very easily empathize. His story is a story of love, death and loss, a story that is well known to us. In his essay "Philosophy of Composition" (1846), describing in detail the origin of the poem "The Raven", Edgar Allan Poe says that "the death of a beautiful woman is undoubtedly the most poetic object in the world" and that "it is also beyond doubt that such a subject is most invited to says the grieving lover. "

"Crow" follows a similar pattern and the entire film is filled with grief over the premature loss of a loved one. Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) and his fiancée Shelley Webster (Sofia Shinas) were brutally killed on Devil's Night, i.e. the night before their wedding. Exactly one year after their murder, a crow brings Eric's soul back from the land of the dead for just one night and helps him find the perpetrators.

The film begins with a crime scene scene and we see Detroit as a dark, gloomy and scary place where criminals have fun, run wild around the city and burn down buildings. We see Officer Albrecht and the little girl Sarah that Erik and Shelley took care of because her mother Darla was an addict and didn’t care for her. Eric is already dead, and Shelley is taken to the hospital in a very bad condition where, as we find out later, he will die after 30 hours of pain and agony. The cops are wandering around their apartment and we see in the frame both the wedding invitation and Sheila’s wedding dress. They were supposed to get married the next day, that is. on Halloween.

The next scene takes us into the future, a year later. We see little Sarah in the cemetery near Sheila's and Eric's graves. As he leaves, the rain begins to fall and the crow lands on Eric's monument and starts pecking at him. That (again Devil's) night, Eric comes to life and rises from the grave in a daze and fever. He returns to their apartment where he is greeted by his cat Gabriel and there he experiences several painful flashbacks. See what happened that night before his arrival - members of the Detroit gang torturing Shelley and how one of them (Ti-Bird) quotes Milton's "Paradise Lost": appearance wonderful… “, ridicules the mentioned verses and calls them pornography. (00:11:07) This is important because Ti-Bird will quote the same verses in the seconds before his death when he meets Eric again, which will be discussed later.

Watching Eric relive painful memories, we are able to feel his pain and not only sympathize with him, but also justify his every subsequent action concerning these killers. Eric and Shelley were a couple in love and happy preparing for the wedding, and then repulsive criminals appeared, broke into their private space and disturbed the harmony for the sake of mere entertainment. Thrown out the window, Eric was unable to save Shelley from rape and brutal beatings. We see that these memories hurt him a lot and that he wants to get rid of them, and the only way to do that is to find those criminals and take revenge on them.

After those flashbacks, we see Erik put on a black suit and put black and white makeup on his face, thus appropriating a new identity. Here it is easy to recognize one of the typical Gothic elements - the use of duplicates. He died as one man, was resurrected as another, and turned from a happy lover into a ruthless avenger dressed in black. He possesses some supernatural powers and the crow represents his strength and his eyes and helps him find the criminals. After finding them, Eric ruthlessly kills them one by one using their own weapons.

We have already mentioned some of the qualities of Byron's hero that Eric himself possesses: he has supernatural powers, he is tormented by guilt and remorse because he could not prevent rape and murder, he suffers immensely and seeks justice in his own way. Cruel but sensitive, he is half victim, half villain, and we see him declare, “Victims; aren't we all? ”(00:20:56) a moment before he stabs Tin-Tin with his knives.

Imbued with grief to a great extent, the whole atmosphere of the film - all the depression, darkness, rain and endless night - are really just a reflection of Eric's mental and psychic state. But despite all that pain and sorrow, as one of the most famous sentences from the film suggests, there is still a glimmer of hope because "it can't rain all the time." (00:34:47)

Eric also shows Byron's arrogance, superiority and sarcasm, which e.g. we can see in his first encounter with Officer Albrecht:

Albert: Police! Do not move! I said don't move!

Erik: I thought the police always said "stop"!

Albert: Well, I'm the police and I say don't move

If you move, you're dead.

Erik: And I say I'm dead and I'm moving. (00:30:25)

We have another example of his supremacy in the scene when he comes to the pawnshop at Gideon where Tin-Tin pawned Sheila's engagement ring:

Eric: "Someone knocked on my door, knocked on my door - knocked softly - softly ..."

Gideon: What are you talking about?

Eric: You heard me knock, didn't you? (00:25:23)

It is no coincidence that Eric quotes Poe's "Raven" here. We have already mentioned Poe and his "Philosophy of Composition" and the subject of the death of a beautiful woman and her grieving lover. The raven is a nocturnal creature and a sign of sad and eternal memory, as well as a prediction of misfortune and death, as is Eric himself. He is a ghost brought back to life by some higher powers to take revenge on those who killed him, who raped and killed his wife, and neither Gideon nor the other gang members are aware of it.

Further, what makes him a likeable character despite the cruelty are his humanity and the fragility we see in scenes from the past and his tenderness towards little Sarah. The scenes then and now are skillfully balanced and we see the supernatural dark being from the present as a fragile human being from the past.

It is true that Eric seeks justice in his own way and that by being cruel, determined and unstoppable, he does not differ from God as he persecutes. But there is a kind of nobility in his deeds and his deadly quest is again justified by the fact that he did not resurrect himself nor did he ask for it. He may be the object of revenge, but not its creator. As the subtitle of Believe in Angels suggests, he is a kind of dark divine messenger whose task is to satisfy God's justice by irrevocably declaring, "They are all dead, they just don't know it yet." (00:31:35) Moreover, when he finds himself face to face with Ti-Bird again, Ti-Bird recognizes him and, staring into his pale face, begins to quote Milton's aforementioned verses again:

"The Devil stood in the shadows,

feeling ‘how awfully good I saw’

virtues how wonderful the phenomenon is, see and understand

that he is lost ”(Paradise Lost; Book IV, 846-849)

But this time those verses are not funny to him at all. The first time he utters them with ridicule, the second time with terrible, ultimate knowledge. Staring at Eric, Ti-Bird realizes that he is actually looking at the face of death itself and is horrified. This scene and these verses tell us that someone who has sunk into sin looks at someone who is pure, realizes his corrupt nature, and despairs over his hopeless situation.

Top Dollar and his sister Mika represent another Gothic element. They are in an incestuous relationship and it could be said that Top Dollar and his gang are the source of all the evils in Detroit. Eventually Eric finds them all and kills them. The crow digs out Mickey's eyes, and Top Dollar falls from the roof onto the horns of the gargoyle while fighting Eric. In that way, justice was served, order was established, and Eric and Shelley were reunited in the other world.

The film ends with a scene in the cemetery and the words of little Sarah:

"If the people we love have been stolen, the way they stay alive

is that we never stop loving them. Buildings up, people dying,

but true love is eternal. "

These lines resonate with Byron's philosophy which, in the words of Deborah Luc, “sees love as the ultimate and only necessary truth and the last resting place in this life. Love is the only force that still makes sense. "

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Written by   52
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Great sequel to the first part of the story. Very interesting and easy to read

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1 year ago