Veronica Mars: Movie Surprise for March 15—bravo to another seriously subversive flick


I long ago confessed to my heroine addiction…. From Boadicea (“Boudica”), Hypatia, St. Joan, and Queen Elizabeth I, through Scarlett O’Hara to Dorothy Gale and Lucy Pevensie and culminating with Buffy Summers and Katniss Everdeen, I have lived my life studying and admiring strong, heroic women.  I suppose this is all in not so subconscious tribute to my grandmother Helen Lucy Eugenie.  She raised me on a quirky combination of history and Gospel readings together with science and geography through travel and experience.  My mother Alice was rather tragically less of a heroine in my eyes and day-to-day life, making only irregular and certainly never daily appearances the way my grandmother did.  But the earliest thing I remember my mother teaching me was the Song of Mary—the “Magnificat” of the Mother of God who became the World’s perhaps most victorious of all tragic heroines…. 

I had not even heard that a movie about Veronica Mars was in the works, but upon my arrival in Los Angeles on Friday March 14, I discovered that a Veronica Mars movie had indeed premiered that very day.  I have already been to see it twice now, on Saturday and Tuesday nights, and the crowds, of course, very thin: certainly the audiences, even in Santa Monica, where part of the movie was filmed (on the Santa Monica Pier) were nothing compared to the first week of either The Hunger Games or Catching Fire.  

But this is really and truly unjust, because the new Veronica Mars movie is absolutely stunning and excellent, and every bit as original and politically subversive and anti-establishment as the Hunger Games — except all the more explicitly because it is set in present time and directly criticizes both the stupidity and apathy and oppression of modern American culture.  It even makes the express prediction that “when the class war comes [coastal Southern California] will be Ground Zero.”  THAT, my friends and countrymen, is a bold and very apt prediction.  Whether it is accurate or not—as an historical of futuristic prediction—remains to be seen of course, but I for one agree that the cultural, economic, and social inequalities in California are harbingers of terrible things to come—and the only get worse every day.

I suppose I find Veronica Mars particularly (personally) appealing because she expressly eschews and rejects the life of a high paid Manhattan (aka “Wall Street”) lawyer (working against ordinary people for Fortune 500 companies—in the true spirit of corporate law) to return to California to fight injustice—expressly framed as police incompetence and brutality.  I LOVE THE PREMISES OF THIS MOVIE!!!!   It certainly doesn’t hurt that Kirsten Bell is deliciously beautiful.  The now 33 year old Veronica/Kristen Bell has indeed “aged well” as one character puts it in the movie.  It seems impossible and incredible that over a decade has passed. But, indeed, the TV Series Veronica Mars was a critical component of my “Post-Buffy” life. It ran from 2004, after the end of Angel through 2007, my final departure from Texas.   Since leaving my home in the Hills and wandering the earth like either TWJ Ahasueras or Captain Vanderdecken, I have watched only very little television.  I managed to catch a few seasons of Dexter and The Tudors—almost between everything else and by chance, but hardly anything else.

Anyhow, without running any spoilers, I certainly can say that EVERYONE who cares about cultural politics and social perspectives on the criminal justice system in America SHOULD see Veronica Mars.  It is comparable to American Hustle in both tempo and quality of musical soundtrack (for ME, American Hustle WAS the best movie of 2013—the Academy of Motion Pictures Oscar politically motivated, almost Stalinistically, and “White” House command-and-controlled pre-determined award to “Twelve Years a Black Duck” be damned).  

All the people in the movie are beautiful even though the society portrayed is shallow and ugly.  Is there a more important message to convey about American values and what our society has become?  I think not.  God Bless Rob Thomas and a strong “thank you” to all who made this movie possible.  

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