Sympathy for the Devil

“And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?” – Matthew 12:26

As a movie fan, I don’t just enjoy watching movies. I also see some technicalities like acting, action sequence, story lines, plots, etc. I can’t help it. I’m not an expert and it’s not intentionally. I just count them as part of a good movie.

I’m going to share to you about a thing that didn’t escaped my attention. Actually, it’s been playing in my mind and I can’t let it not share it to you.

It’s about today’s movie trends. One movie trend that is very profitable, and obvious, is comic superhero movies. Blockbuster movies today either comes from Marvel or DC.

Another movie trends that we often see these days are prequels and book adaptations. This is the reason why they say that Hollywood is losing creativity in terms of producing new stories. Most of the movies we see today are adaptations, sequels and prequels, and reboots.

But I’m not here today to unleash the fanboy inside me and join the war between DC and Marvel, or talk about Hollywood losing creativity to tell stories. I would like to share an observation about another trend, maybe.

I don’t know if I’m the only one who notices this but, recently, Hollywood is making movies about traditional villains, bad guys, monsters and evil characters and repackage them as heroes.

It came to my mind when I watched Maleficent, and Dracula Untold. If you already watched these movies, you’ll know where I’m coming from.

To those who doesn’t watch these movies yet, here are some brief summaries:

Maleficent

The movie Maleficent, released last 2014, played by Angelina Jolie, told a different side of the story; her side. Maleficent is the evil fairy god mother of Princess Aurora that put a curse on her and made her sleep forever until a true love’s kiss awakens her.

The movie’s story showed Maleficent as a good fairy, grown from a happy fairy kid to a very powerful young fairy. She was so powerful that no armies can defeat her. Aside from the force of nature that supports her, she also has her wings that made her very powerful.

Her anger started when she was betrayed by her boyfriend that became a king in her expense. The king had a daughter, Princess Aurora. When Maleficent heard about the child, she cursed the child to have revenge on the king. But unexpectedly, Princess Aurora became close to her while growing up.

When Princess Aurora reached the age that the curse will effect, Maleficent even tried to reverse her curse because she became emotionally attached with the princess. But she failed as her curse is too powerful.

In the movie, she cared too much with the princess that she even helped the prince to reach the princess to give a true-love’s kiss, the only way to reverse the curse.

What happened next is amazing…

Sorry. I’ve been spending too much time in social media these days. The movie’s ending is a plot twist that I don’t want to spoil.

Dracula Untold

On the Dracula Untold, Vlad Dracula is a leader, a former prince. He was a loving husband and father. Since he was a good leader, his people loved him. But the desperate time came when he needed to save his people from the ruthless rule of a prince. They are outnumbered, and out powered. He returned back to the cave on a mountain where he discovered a powerful creature that hides from the light. He asked the creature to give him powers and the rest is history.

Although Vlad became a vampire, he doesn’t want to hurt and kill people. He hide his nature and restrained from feeding on human blood for three days to be able to get back to being human again. He was able to save his people single-handedly from the enemy’s first attack. But the worst is yet to come.

To make the long story short, the prince didn’t let himself and his armies to be defeated. The finale war has happened. Most of his people were killed including his family. This pushed him to use his monstrous nature to kill the enemy.  But after the war, he didn’t became the monster as we know it. He had maintained his loving and calm, nonviolent nature.

Obviously, this is totally different from the novel Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the legend itself.

Although it might be a good way to sell a movie by telling a different twist on the old story. but for me, it is sending the viewers, especially the young ones, the wrong message.

Evilness is an acceptable response when provoked

When you are physically and verbally hurt by someone, the automatic response is to get even or get back and do worse damage. But Jesus taught us different. Jesus said when you are slapped on the right, give the left cheek (Luke 6:29). It may be absurd for us to do this and it’s hard for us to understand this teaching but God’s purpose is always for peace and meekness. God even said revenge is His (Romans 12:19). So He didn’t allowed us to take revenge for ourselves but let Him do the job.

Evil is ok for the right reason

There is no right reason to be evil. Even if you are threatened or want to save the life of a loved one, using the power of evil is never right. Using the power of evil is rejecting and distrusting the power of God.

This scenario also reminds me of the movie Ghost Rider. He sold his soul to the devil to bring back his father’s life.

If you love God, you will depend on His power and wisdom, no matter what happens, even if you think things are not going your way or He’s ignoring you. Trust that He’s powerful enough to save you or change things and trust that He knows what He’s doing.

Evil can be good if used for the good cause

Good guy devilEvil cannot be good and cannot do good. If you have evil spirit in you, you cannot think right anymore. All you have is anger, fear, lust, gluttony, etc. because this is what the devil is. If the devil gives you something, it want something bigger in return. Even if you see it doing something seems good, it is definitely covering something bad. Always remember, the devil is a liar. Even Jesus was offered by the devil with riches and protection, if He will worship him (Matthew 4:1-11).

This point tells us that it is ok to be evil as long as you’re a hero, saving lives. It’s no different from ‘it’s ok to reject God as long as you’re saving lives’. While this thought wouldn’t matter to an Atheist because they wouldn’t reject anyone and to them there is no evil. But for Christians, it’s a big deal.

Aside from the Ghost Rider, another movie character that fits in this point is the Spawn. He was a man, a modern soldier that went to hell. Because of his toughness and experience in the military, the devil used him and gave him power to spread terror on earth. But it turns out, he used his power against the devil and his armies to stop the terror. So he became the people’s hero.

Evil has cause

Yes for some. But not always especially for the devil himself and his armies of fallen angels. For Man, being evil could be the cause of the environment, the way we are raised or when we are provoked. But for some and for evil spirits, evilness started in their heart.

Thinking that evil has a cause would mean evil was created. We could say Why God created evil” or “He became like that because he was not treated well.” With this thought, we will always search for something or someone to blame for the evil things. And who we will blame for the devil himself?

More movies What happened?

Another movie that is worth mentioned is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, released in 2013. We all know this huge indestructible killer with an electric saw and wearing mask made with human face skin. And again, the story was turned around. Imagine how one of the scariest killer in horror movies gained sympathy from the viewers. How? Because his family were cast-away by the town people and burned to death in their own house. So this evil monster is getting his revenge.

It is funny because, it just came to my attention that Maleficent, Dracula Untold and the Chainsaw Massacre stories has something in common: they are all provoked by humans. So who’s to blame here? Who is the real evil or more evil? Maybe it’s better to be evil; dark, horned, fanged, blood-sucking creature and saving lives than to be a human who naturally discriminates.

You can just clearly see how the devil is so jealous and angry with Man.

Now, I will not be surprised if there will be a movie that would show how Lucifer became the devil by unfairly treated by an insecure God and His Son and how he was misunderstood and hated by Man.

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