I really liked "Watchmen," and I think I could devote at least 20 posts to the issues raised by the differences between the film and the comics. But one stands out to me above all others: In print, I found Rorschach to be a man in much more psychological distress. In the movie, I found him psychologically challenged but with a prevailing nobility. If the film could be said to have a hero -- which is a stretch -- it would be Rorschach.
In print, the story's nuances are triumphant. There is more room to interpret, and there's more depth. In the movie, there are moments of overwhelming emotional power that dwarf what a comic can deliver. These moments are sometimes raw, sometimes sweet and generally big and boastful, with much less ambiguity than the comics celebrate.
As a character on pages, I found Rorschach as troubled as he is intimidating. On the screen, I found him to be constantly extraordinary and ultimately beyond defeat, regardless of what compulsions were driving him. These are the questions I'm left with: When you think of the movie Rorschach, do you empathize? Would you like to be just as pure in spurning compromise, no matter what other horrors that forces you to embrace?