Tuesday, May 8, 2012
4) Johnny Depp and the Downfall of Intellectual Society
Let us begin with my full acknowledgement of how inflammatory such an accusation is, especially of someone as fondly regarded as Depp. I use him as an example and not as a root cause. I definitively find the root cause and effect to lie within the ever increasing multitude of mentally feeble followers and unquestioning believers in this world. It is his representation that I am exhausted of; his phony externally presented personae. This stems from endless observation and understanding in myself being a huge fan of his talent. I though, unlike many, understand how it is that dollars enter his pocket and evaporate from yours.
Johnny Depp is a gimmick. His very marketability is an acknowledged lie. He knows this. He preys upon, promotes and profits from it. He repeatedly takes characters that are intelligent, complex and full of complicated depth and beauty and transforms them into laughable buffoons. Instead of aiding the masses to intellectually rise up and interpret these characters, Depp contrarily retards them. Most of his representations rely upon shock factor; makeup, over the top and exaggerated acting, unconventional attire or blatant drunken and aloof behavior. Amusing? Yes. Promoting my loss of brain cells through lack of thought and stimulation? Yes again. Let us discuss a few of these characters; Barnabus Collins, Tanto, Captain Jack Sparrow and The Hatter.
Each of these characters exudes a complexity with which he ignored and turned into laughter or sheer idiocy. Barnabus Collins was a serious, emotionally flawed and mentally complex character and not the comedic jester in which Depp portrays. He uses comedic relief to draw away from the reality that he has completely botched the identity of the original. Tanto was a foolish and laughable sidekick; unimportant and a far second to the exploits of the great Lone Ranger but somehow he is the focal point in the new film. Captain Jack Sparrow is a write in based upon Depp’s love of hard rocker Keith Richards and his son Jack’s tattoo upon his arm. He is a drunk mockery of a lifestyle that was ruthless, of the utmost serious nature and was also highly misunderstood and misinterpreted. Depp has further progressed this misunderstanding by making light of the truth, the history that was mainly involving the Caribbean within the 1500s until the early 1800s. The last of my examples is the Hatter. I am most personal with this one on account of my exhaustive study of Lewis Carroll and my deep appreciation of his characters and their representations. The Hatter was a serious, intelligent and yet maniacal character conjured from deep within the psyche of Mr. Carroll yet is essentially no more important than any other character and yet is the cover piece and focal point for Johnny Depp’s adaptation. He is upon only a few pages of either tale and yet is the main character in Depp’s movie.
To be sure I recognize and fully appreciate any use to promote oneself and profit from such endeavors. I just want to present that it is unnecessary to dumb everything down to achieve an understanding. This is a fact involving and encompassing a far greater reach than Johnny Depp but he is a part of such. Make strides to get people to think. Allow them to be challenged. Leave them in wonderment at reasoning a solution to what you have presented. Most of all you must have faith that presenting a complicated subject will be accepted and adored and not misunderstood or ignored. That is how you better your audience and give them meaning and interpretable depth with which to savor and grow from.