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|“||Free will. It's like butterfly wings: once touched, they never get off the ground. No, I only set the stage. You pull your own strings.||„|
|~ John Milton, to Kevin Lomax on the concept of free will.|
|“||Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He's a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does He do, I swear for His own amusement, His own private, cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition. It's the goof of all time. Look, but don't touch. Touch, but don't taste. Taste, don't swallow. Ahaha. And while you're jumpin' from one foot to the next, what is He doing? He's laughin' His sick fuckin' ass off! He's a tight-ass! He's a SADIST! He's an absentee landlord! Worship that? NEVER!||„|
|~ John Milton's view on God.|
|“||Vanity... is definitely my favorite sin.||„|
|~ John Milton|
|“||Maybe it's true. Maybe God threw the dice once too often. Maybe He let us all down.||„|
|~ John Milton about humanity and God.|
John Milton was the eponymous main antagonist of the 1997 mystery/thriller movie, The Devil's Advocate based on the Andrew Neiderman novel of the same name, and he portrayed himself as a representative of a New York law firm, but was in reality, Satan himself.
He was portrayed by Al Pacino, who also portrayed Michael Corleone in The Godfather Saga, Tony Montana in Scarface, Big Boy in Dick Tracy, Willy Bank in Ocean's Thirteen and David Fisk in Righteous Kill.
Milton tormented Kevin Lomax, a greedy and cocky lawyer who also acted as the morally dubious protagonist of the movie, though he did so with diabolic cunning and made Kevin's life a living hell long before he finally revealed himself to the unfortunate man, who later found out from his devoutly religious mother that Milton was his birth father. He murdered anyone who stood in his way of progress, including Eddie Barzoon, and drove Kevin's wife, Mary Ann, to suicide after putting her under psychological torment and raping her.
Milton's ultimate plan was to have his son and Christabella Andreoli (who was Lomax's half-sister) conceive a child. In exchange, he was willing to give his son anything that he desired, but Kevin rejected his demonic father, committed suicide and foiled Milton's grand scheme; that enraged Milton to the point he screamed: "God !" out in rage and appeared to transform into an angel - he sprouted glowing bright wings like an angel - as the scene turned to black.
However, the film soon took a dark turn when Kevin awakened to find his life apparently back to normal and his wife, Mary Ann, alive once more. After he rejected the path that had led to his original damnation, Kevin seemed to have defeated Milton completely, only to be approached by a reporter who wanted to get a story on Kevin and promised to make him a "star." Kevin finally agreed to the reporter's request, and after Kevin left, the reporter changed into the form of Milton, who broke the fourth wall as he said that vanity was his favorite sin, and left the audience to question whether the cycle would start all over again as the movie ended to the credit song of "Paint It Black".
Some of the horrific acts that Milton committed were: drove Mary Ann insane, raped her, and also had two demons (in the form of vagrants) beat Eddie Barzoon to death, though it was very possible that Milton (being a Satanic figure) was also responsible of all suffering in his setting in the manner of most Dark Forms.
One hopeful note could be derived from this cacophony: Kevin, who may have well been continually targeted by Milton in cycle after cycle, had defeated both his plans and his expectations at least once. That was despite Milton's vast and deep manipulations, and perhaps extended back before his birth. In that light, Kevin's victory was greater than it seemed at first blink.
While initially portrayed as a shrewd, calm and charismatic man, John Milton was also incredibly crafty, able to manipulate people without interfering with their free will. Milton displayed signs of having a hedonistic lifestyle involving promiscuity and drugs, although it was possible that this was all for show in order to tempt men to his side. Milton was extremely intelligent, and capable of making incredible strategic moves to achieve his goals - intelligence expectant of the Devil. Milton also possessed incredible power of speech - his monologues throughout the film were extremely perceptive of situations, particularly those that surrounded God and His image, and made him the center of attention the whole time.
As a fallen angel, Satan had over several thousand years worth of pent-up hatred towards God and religion. Throughout the film, he alluded to the faults in Christianity, most notably God's supposedly hypocritical and sadistic tendencies. Milton claimed that his way was the true way of humanity as it did not cast judgement for giving in to natural desires. Fitting with his status as the embodiment of adversity, Milton was shown to make holy water boil just by touching it and grinning at a stain-glass image of Jesus as if to display his power over the physical world.
Although he had a laid-back, charismatic and easygoing manner, Milton was capable of unleashing an incredible temper - when Kevin committed suicide, he screamed incessantly with rage and fury, and unleashed an enormous firestorm that consumed everything in the building.
Milton claimed that his favorite sin was vanity. Milton used that very sin to make Mary Ann feel insecure about her appearance and gave Kevin a case that only he could win. It was implied that Milton had been helping Kevin win every case just so that his ego would grow and consume him by the time the plot was set in motion. In the epilogue, Milton was shown gleefully smiling as Kevin had a change of heart while simultaneously gaining fame for doing so, which suggested that he would find a way to corrupt Kevin's newfound sense of morality.
- The John Milton character was named after the real-life poet and civil servant Sir John Milton, author of the legendary epic poem Paradise Lost.
- A plausible theory will be that Milton's "disappointments" (children) were famous dictators and killers, as his offspring were characterized by a natural ability of manipulation and an innate capacity for feeding crime and violence.