Spider-Man: Far From Home - Will always love you, black in black
“Heavy is the head that wears the crown”
Shakespeare and MCU go together like love and marriage, not necessary the “Married with children” kind of love. The three phases of Marvel’s cinematic universe which came to end with this movie are connected by the eternal themes of burden and duty and how they become a catalyst for the main character.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is a tribute to Tony Stark, from start to finish and it should be. He started this whole journey and it was only fitting to close this journey with the man who went from being called the Merchant of Death to a Hero. A hero who sacrificed his life so that the world could go on (take that Cap and just in time for the 4th of July). And it’s only fitting that this movie shows how a young man grieves the death of a father figure.
Dealing with the loss of someone you loved is hard. It doesn’t come with guidelines and no matter how much you try to brace yourself for the inevitable, when it finally happens, you’re numb, you’re ragging, you cry your heart out and you try to learn how to continue living.
How to continue living is the hardest. So you pretend you’re alright or you avoid talking about it or you grief. You grief until your eyes are sore from crying and everything around you, reminds you of the one you lost. Now, image Peter grieving over Tony and the world being a constant reminder through vigil, tributes and shrines of the father figure he lost.
The movie starts with the grief process. It’s painful, it’s necessary and if you spent ten years of your life following these movies, unless you’re made of stone, you’ll feel that lump in your throat a few times, from the very first seconds when the Marvel logo plays on screen right through a proverbial passing of the torch.
This movie is also about legacies. The legacy of a set of heroes we came to love, the original six. As the movie closes through merry web-slings through New York, we’re reminded of a certain place where everything started, back in 2012:
You’re wondering, maybe, about the villain? It’s a: like him or hate him situation and not necessary a bad choice for this movie. The purpose is to provoke Peter and help him break from the circle of grief and the circle of self-doubt.
You start with something pure. Something exciting. Then come the mistakes, the compromises. We create our own demons.
The innocent, the naive, the boy with red-rimmed eyes, beaten, broken and betrayed learns from his mistakes and becomes stronger by facing the consequences of his acts. Truth is, Tony Stark saw in Peter the chance to offer someone who barely had something, the chance to fully explore his potential and become a better man than Tony had been. And there’s another boy, not the heir but someone who has been influenced by the generosity of someone who said he was always fine but deep down inside he was breaking apart. His name is Harley and I, as a fan, I still hope we might see him come than the cameo from Endgame. Through trial and error, through victories, cheers, mistakes, sleepless nights, PTSD, blood poisoning, shrapnel, betrayal and heartache, Tony Stark learned to trust those around him and trusted a teenager who loves pop culture trivia to carry on the work he started. In his own terms, in his own way and not alone.
And if I was to wrap this all nicely with a bow, I would say this last entry which concluded the third phase of the MCU plan, made Spidey break out and stand out on his on two feet and deliver a solid character through the layered performance of Tom Holland. Like it happened with Robert Downey Jr. The choice of gambling on his acting skills and understanding of the character paid off and gives us hope for future adventures…especially of you stick through the end credits like a well versed Marvel fan.