Playing God: Marvel’s The Punisher (2017)

Author: Muammer Tuncer
Editor: Hazal Senkoyuncu

 

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Visual Credit: Karina Rehrbehn (on halfnakedbanana.tumblr.com)

 

The Punisher (season 1) opens with Frank Castle’s troubled past that haunts him in his every waking moment and quickly establishes the overarching narrative of the show: Revenge. And, of course, it comes with pain.

To recap the series: Frank Castle’s family is murdered. He seeks revenge for those who are responsible for killing his family. His mission also reveals bits of his past throughout the series. While Frank is thought to be dead, Agent Madani follows Frank after spotting him on the news, spending her screen time to find the man of mystery. It is revealed later, that the murder of Frank’s family was part of a larger conspiracy, which then changes the direction of the series. This is exactly when the unstoppable action of The Punisher begins to unravel.

There are several flashbacks that play in Frank’s head: His wife and kids’ murder in front of his eyes, excerpts of Frank and his friends inside a military plane to Afghanistan, his friend Jigsaw’s betrayal. These moments build up the alter ego of a vengeful vigilante, or in Bernthal’s (who plays Castle) words, “He ain’t got a fucking cape. He ain’t got any superpowers. He [just lives in] an unbelievable world of darkness and loss and torment”. The Punisher certainly is a band-aid story. Frank cannot cure his own pain, so he numbs it. And, his substance is the vigilante work that pulls him out of the deep sadness.

Karen (Daredevil’s strong-willed blondie journalist) fights for Frank’s good intentions and truly believes in him. Her character is already established in Daredevil and the Defenders, and she continues to be the Marvel TV’s moral compass in the Punisher. Her role as the love interest and damsel in distress reprises as Jigsaw uses her in a trap to reach Frank. The scene reveals what Karen and Frank have been on the contrary: They have an unspoken, skinny love for each another.

The series revolve around the judgment of Frank the Punisher. Perhaps, he is playing God. In a world where the bad guys walk around the block swinging their arms, Frank is the justice. It would also be fair to say; Frank portrays a superhero misunderstood. He isn’t really a superhero; he is one of us. What makes him so different is his big heart, unbelievable courage, powerful character, and endurance.

Note from the Editor: This is the first collaboration featured on Hazal’s Camera. I would like to thank Muammer for jumping into writing his first review without a doubt and letting me help him in the process. While I love talking about media, I also want this website to be a platform that can house different opinions. I am looking forward to future collaborations. You can email me at hazalscamera@gmail.com with all of your ideas (travel, news, film-tv, books, personal reflections, etc.).

May 2019 Book, TV & Film Roundup

Welcome to the first Roundup of Hazal’s Camera. I’ll try to keep this as a monthly ritual. Let’s dive in.

 

The month of May can only be described as a blessing and a curse. I finalized an intense period of summer courses, followed by an intense period of free time. The North American culture subtly rewrites your DNA and convinces you that you need to be busy all the damn time. So, my free time called for a lot of binge-watching, and it was beautiful.

Let’s start the roundup with books, shall we? I promised myself that I would be reading one book a month. The apple era took this pleasant activity away, and my thesis research gave it back to me. I started with Tom Hanks’ Uncommon Type (2017). It was my every bus read from school or internship. It became my companion when I laid down on the grass. It had many stories that literally pulled you in, and some that didn’t but nonetheless, it is was a nice companion for May.

In the TV zone— I started with Defenders (2017) hoping that I could revisit my love for the series Jessica Jones but definitely loved the plot despite the fact that it mainly revolved around the Iron Fist. Next, I went through a series of emotions watching Jane the Virgin (2014-). It is definitely a cheesy romance show or “telenovela”. I regretted wasting the vast of the plot away all so quickly once I found out that the series was set to finish this year. I honestly loved this show. I guess I am a hopeless romantic, after all.

None of the film productions really wowed me this month. I watched the live action Aladdin (2019), it had a couple problematic representation patterns. In fact, they weren’t problematic, but rather, clearly wrong. I won’t get into it again in this post, but you can see my full review here. Next, much anticipated (and advertised) Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019). I watched the film on the first day of release. I am one of those young adults who watched Zac Efron in chick flick blockbusters in the past, but his portrayal of Ted Bundy really wowed me. The film did not though, and I will explain why. Finally, I watched what seems to be Jon Favreau’s passion project Chef (2014). Sadly predictable, and an okay movie. Continue reading “May 2019 Book, TV & Film Roundup”

Choices and Changes

I remember a significant scene of two friends talking in front of the entrance of the gym that I work. One of my co-workers was ranting about the future and how she was getting serious with her boyfriend and she wants (and probably needs) to get married to her boyfriend within the next couple of years. I am usually interested in almost every conversation at work… This one, I half or quarter-listened, it really did not matter to me… up until now.

I am twenty-two, hardly earning enough money to pay for my peanut butter consumption, gym membership and half of the books that my university requires. Apparently, I need to write a thesis this year, what the heck is a thesis? Is there a way to not live with my parents when I graduate? Because I am literally, mentally, and unapologetically done. Oh, and I probably am scared as hell about getting married… Wooow, did I just type that? Okay, let’s stop here.

I have been told by someone that no one can interfere with your life unless you let them. I once was in one of the many unpleasant arguments with a family member, I probably said something like “I am fed up with this, and I want you to stop trying to make me unhappy all the damn time”. She, as always, replied, “It’s your choice to be unhappy, I did not make you”. Just writing this, I still want to punch her face even though I understand the meaning behind the words now.

The TV series “Fi” that I recently started watching revolves around a beautiful dancer and a famous psychiatrist who is obsessively in love with her. He manipulates her life a great deal using his wisdom and money; he changes her career, ruins her relationship and quickly “takes” her to himself. But, I hope you got the hint because even the way I describe it right now is faulty.

No one, I repeat, no one can interfere with your life, cross over your lines, manipulate or change you. No one has the power to do that unless you want them to, or you let them.

After I realized that this is the way it is, the remedy to all of my problems was simple… Trust yourself, trust the Greater Power if you believe, and trust that there’s a plan that only works only for you.

I need to crash the taboos within my own mind. I know you probably have your own, too. All I know is that I will live, but I’ll do it my way.

I will be free. I will be free. I will be free.

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