Saturday, November 14, 2009

Manhunter analysis - part 43: Attempting to determine Kevin's true parentage

CATEGORY: MOVIES     [Hidden plot related]

In part 39 of the analysis, uncertainty over who Kevin's biological father is arose. In the audio commentary on the "Director's Cut" version of the Manhunter DVD, director and screenwriter Michael Mann states that he departed from the source novel for his movie, Thomas Harris's Red Dragon, in that he made Kevin Will's natural son. Let's see if we can determine more about what's actually happening with regard to Molly's infidelity, Kevin's upbringing, etc.

Note that Molly has curly hair, Will has wavy hair, and Kevin's hair is straight. One question that arises with regard to this, is whether a curly-haired parent (Molly) can have a child with straight hair (i.e, Kevin). To answer this, let us look at some genetics regarding hair type: [a] If we let the letter 'C' represent a gene for curliness, then Molly must have 'CC' - a curly gene from each of her parents - in order to have curly hair. If we let 's' stand for a straight hair gene, then Will has 'Cs' in order to have his wavy hair, and Kevin has 'ss' for straight hair. For Kevin to have 'ss', he must inherit an 's' from each parent, but this is not possible, because Molly is a 'CC'. If Kevin was the biological son of both Molly and Will, he would have either curly (CC) or wavy (Cs) hair, but he has neither. Therefore, we see that either Molly cannot be Kevin's biological mother, or that her hair is not naturally curly (i.e., she curls it herself).

The larger picture here is that prior to the point in time being depicted at the film's beginning, there has been a situation, a 'chain' of events and relationships, involving Kevin, Will, Molly, and Dr. Bloom, and possibly other persons, and that right from the movie's beginning, the audience is being 'dropped into' these ongoing events. It is incumbent upon the audience to figure out what prior situation existed, in order to fully understand what is going on in the movie.

a. Stanford University, The Tech Museum of Innovation, "Understanding Genetics". 1994. URL =


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