Shazam: It’s All In The Family
The story of Billy Batson is one person many people can relate to. At one point, it’s about fitting in and finding where you belong in the world. At other points, it shows us the challenges of what an orphan might experience in today’s world. However, at every point in the movie, it shows the audience the challenges of growing up and finding out who one’s family truly is. For Batson, he is a fascinating person. He was effectively abandoned by his mother at a young age and has spent much of his time since in and out of orphanages, always running out on the families he is assigned to.
That is until he comes across Rosa Vasquez and Victor Vasquez who take him in. While initially somewhat fearful of the family, he comes across a number of souls he can rely on such as Mary Bromfield, Darla Dudley, and most of all: Freddy Freeman. The latter, who is disabled and obsessed with superheroes, becomes Batson’s best friend and sidekick throughout much of the movie. Both of them experiences the difficulties of what it means to truly be someone’s friend.
Freeman is the first person that Batson confides him after Shazam gives him his powers. They become like brothers and it’s nice to see Batson eventually embrace that as he does the rest of his family. For Batson, it’s understandable why he would be hesitant to confide in anyone. His mother abandoned him in a crowd as a child. That does not necessarily push someone to open up and believe in people when his own parent leaves him. It’s especially poignant when Batson finds his mother in modern day and she effectively wants nothing to do with him.
That’s the moment when Batson realizes he’s had a family all along with the Vasquez’s. Also interesting to note is that both Mr. and Mrs. Vasquez were orphans themselves, so they understand more than anyone the difficulties that can bring to one’s life. While Batson is abandoned by his family and finds a new one, the same cannot be said for Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. He is someone who detests his family.
It’s fascinating how different the experiences the two kids have. Both were tested by Shazam but it’s only Batson who is chosen. For Sivana, he is someone who is obsessed with returning to the Rock of Eternity and gaining the power he was refused. Throughout his villainy, he effectively achieves this until he is stopped by Batson who struggles figuring out his powers at first. After an accident as a child, Sivana begins to hate his family. He accidentally gets his father in a car accident and causes him to lose the use of both of his legs.
Sivana hates his father and his brother for belittling him. Who’s to say they would even buy him a projection clock for Christmas? Suffice it to say, Sivana grows up with a full family and he feels like an outcast after he is rejected by his father and brother. He never goes to seek out another family or make amends with his own family. Instead, he lashes out at the world and seeks vengeance on his family once he receives his powers.
It’s interesting how much family is a theme here. Would a projection clock have made a difference between Sivana and his family? It very well may have. But, the underpinnings of family are very strong throughout this film and are especially present when Batson shares his powers with his friends such as Freeman, Bromfield, and Dudley. It’s awesome to see them all become their alter-egos and work together to take down Sivana. It is exciting even more for any moviegoer who is ready to see the next installment of Shazam. Who is to say what is next for Batson and company?
About the author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, consumer electronics, and the entertainment industry.