“Logan” (2017) tells the final story of a mutant over 100 years old, whose ability is an accelerating healing factor and extra claws reminiscent of a Wolverine. The constant element is an overwhelming nostalgia and sense of hopelessness in a dystopic 2029, but our hero takes a last path to meet a girl who represents a ray of hope. This girl being her genetic clone. Almost emulating a reincarnation of the samsara.
It is said that they took inspiration of some films, among them “The Westler” (2008). The film tells the story of a wrestler who has aged and is forced to do things that go against his ethics in order to survive. A story that parallels Logan’s path by switching from a superhero feared by the villains to a chauffeur who can not pay for repairs to his car and buys drugs. Both are forced to renounce their ethos for the good of others, for a greater good, koinon.
The film clearly shows the reference to western cinema. Direct reference is made to the film “Shane” (1953), where a skillful and mysterious gunman recently arrived in a town in Wyoming, USA, confronts an evil cattleman. In the last scene, Shane murders the cattleman and his henchmen, but is wounded to death and decides to leave the town to continue his path. Joey, a child who accompanies him during his stay in town, tries to stop him but he responds with these words:
Joey, there’s no living with… with a killing. There’s no going back from one. Right or wrong, it’s a brand. A brand sticks. There’s no going back. Now you run on home to your mother, and tell her… tell her everything’s all right. And there aren’t any more guns in the valley.
Logan is a character who has been in existential suffering (pathos) for more than 100 years, and flirts with death constantly without finding it (thanatos). He has never had a break from wars and violence. He has killed and tried to be killed for most of his life. He has repeated the cycle of Shane for many decades. He has not had time to love and be loved (eros). However, in the end Eros and Thanatos converge for a few seconds, resulting in a worthy end to a hero.
Have you ever you felt like that?
What do you think about death?