Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Is Rorschach (Watchmen) Jigsaw (Saw) gone right?

Rorschach Watchmen Jigsaw SAW movieThe way Rorschach killed the kidnapper of the little girl is pretty much how the villain Jigsaw from SAW movies commits his crimes! For those of you who don't know who or what Jigsaw is - Jigsaw is the main villain of a series of movies called SAW who offers "puzzles" that his victims have to solve in order to survive. Please don't confuse Jigsaw with Batman's Riddler though as his puzzles are not the relatively harmless variety. Instead, Jigsaw's puzzles, regardless of the actual solution, have immediate and often horrific consequences for the victims. To explain - most of Jigsaw's puzzles involve some sort of intricate mechanism that the victim is trapped in and in order to survive, the victim has to get out of it. Inability to solve the "puzzle" results in immediate and painful death. So where does Rorschach fit in all this? And isn't Rorschach the good guy (even if an anti-hero)?

Yes, Rorschach is indeed the good guy and doesn't go offering murderous puzzles to anyone. This whole Rorschach as Jigsaw controversy resulted from an incident in Watchmen that is often referred to as "little girl's kidnapping" case. The details can be found here - Rorschach's Psychology in Watchmen

As horrific both the crime and Rorschach's punishement were, they do relate to how Jigsaw commits his own branded crimes. In fact, in one of the SAW movies, Jigsaw offers even the Rorschach's "handcuff-saw-puzzle" with the difference that Jigsaw's victim was not running against the clock to get free. Further, it seems that Rorschach whole point of killing the kidnapper that way is was to make him realize the value of life and the horror of pain. This is again similar to the reason Jigsaw offers - "To help them realize the value of their lives"

But to answer the controversial question - No, Rorschach is not like Jigsaw. Besides the obvious fact that he is a good guy (even if an anti-hero), the main reason is that Rorschach doesn't really care about teaching the criminals about value of their lives or whatever. His core objective is to punish them brutally and immediately instead of causing any reforms or having them atone for their crimes or whatever. This is in stark contrast to Jigsaw's goal of helping the victims realize the value of life. Rorschach's own words (Watchmen book / graphic novel by Alan Moore) "...Stood in street. Imagined limbless felt torso inside; breasts blackening; bellies smoldering;bursting into flame one by one..." indicate that his objective was to kill the kidnapper and not at all letting him live no matter what. Rorschach knew that the kidnapper will never be able to get out and so his offer of that saw was aimed at punishing the criminal psychologically too.

All that said, there is no doubt that Jigsaw (as a character) is actually inspired from Rorschach. Yeah, all the innovations seen in SAW movies are no doubt original (it seems) but the very idea of Jigsaw seems to originate from that part of Watchmen's plot! Heck, even the name Jigsaw has a "saw" in it (saw being the originating from that part of the story in Watchmen)!

To find why Alan Moore calls Rorschach Watchmen's Batman, click - Is Rorschach Watchmen's Batman? Rorschach vs Batman

To read about how Rorschach shows himself to be a true superhero at the time of his death, click - Rorschach dies as a true superhero

To read a funny article on Rorschach, click - Rorschach Watchmen Character


  1. Watch the movie Mad Max (the first, not the second; the Road Warrior).
    Mx put handcuffs on a bad guy and the other end at a burning car and gives the bad guy a saw to have a small chans to get out of there.
    The movie is from 1979.

  2. Interesting!! So thats where its coming from then!

  3. I didn't even notice this connection, clever observation! Also with Anon about Mad Max.