We Can All Relate to ‘Shazam!’

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We Can All Relate to ‘Shazam!’

Beth Wolde, Staff

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Shazam! is DC comics latest super hero film. The movie is a light-hearted, fun-filled adaptation of the comic Shazam that teaches us that there is a hero inside of all of us. In the story the teen Billy Batson undergoes an unexpected transformation from a street-smart orphan to the Champion of Earth, Shazam.

This is a film that can be enjoyed by people of almost all ages but it’s especially relatable for kids cause most of them can understand the normal hardships Billy and his friends face, from Mary and her college acceptance letters to Freddy dealing with bullies at school.

Unlike other heroes, Shazam, aka Billy Batson, is a 14-year-old despite his appearance as a grown man. This makes the film a lot more relatable for children and teens because Billy shows off his power as a kid his age would be expected to while having fun and being more optimistic of the new abilities, such a flight, lighting, speed, strength, etc.

Billy is a child in the foster system searching for his mother while running away from every house he’s ever placed in, avoiding having connections with any families because of his belief that his mother will one day come for him. The movie shows the dark reality of many foster children, many of which being abandoned by parents who don’t want them anymore. Billy’s mother, whom of which he spent the last couple years searching for, told him that she had purposely left him at the carnival.

The film also had a fresh tone to the usual movie stereotype around foster families. Billy was placed into a home unlike what’s usually shown on media platforms. Rosa and Victor Vasquez run a group home that has a nice family dynamic, a home of comfort and security that vastly contrasts to other movies that usually depict foster homes as a torturous prison. The children are also are more welcoming to the idea of Billy in their family rather than rejecting him despite his initially negative interactions.

Doctor Sivana, who is one of the many children summoned by the original Shazam wizard and deemed unworthy of his name, was the main villain in the film. Though most of the children denied of the wizard’s powers got over it, Sivana did not. This being because of the ridicule and blame he faced by his family as being the worst and unwanted being further emphasized with the rejection from the wizard. The addition of this scene allowed for the audience to have more of an understanding of why he does terrible things throughout the rest of the movie and almost allows them to have sympathy for him because of how poorly he was treated as a child.

Billy was able to relate to Sivana, because while Sivana felt alone and like he had no family, Billy also knew what that felt like because his mother had abandoned him. Though what enabled him to overcome was the fact that he had his friends and family with him, fighting along his side with his powers of Shazam flowing threw them.

When gaining his new powers and being faced with the responsibility of taking care of people other than himself, Billy grows as a person. His friendship with the children, specifically Freddy, gave the Audience hope for the once loner street orphan. Freddy’s understanding for Billy’s situation and knowledge of super hero’s strengthens their friendship and causes them to be more dependent on each other while initially being more independent from the rest of the world and “Always looking out for number one.” Then he later comes to realize how much he needs his friends and the support of family in order to perceive, not only against the villain, but in life.