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Headscratchers / The Adventures of Tintin

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  • From the film — so, in the scene where the Milanese Nightingale sings and breaks every glass in the building, why doesn't Sakharine's glasses break as well?
    • Possibly his glasses were clear plastic or some other non-glass material, or somehow altered to survive shockwaves. He did have the opportunity to prepare for it.
    • Yes, Sakharine's glasses were not actual glass (darker and irregularly shaped compared to all the other glass in the scene), which is what tipped Tintin off to Sakharine's plan.
  • From that same scene in the film — Is it even possible for Castafiore's singing to break the bullet proof glass that was protecting the model?
    • Yes. it is, it was shown by Mythbusters that this is possible, but only if, and I mean (IF) the singer can sing that high.
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    • Not exactly. Mythbuster's results were the results of testing with your basic run-of-the-mill wine glass, which is built in one piece and is thus easy to deform, versus bulletproof glass, which is built in a webbed structure and thus would be much stronger. So it's possible in theory, but the film over-simplifies it.
    • There's also a point in one of the comics (Ottokar's Sceptre?) where Castafiore sings in a car and Tintin remarks something along the lines of "good thing it's safety glass", If her voice can't break that how can it break the bullet proof glass?
      • Perhaps if that scenario had come up in the movie, she would have been able to break the safety glass.
  • Also from the film: In the comic, Tintin and Haddock discover Rackham's treasure in the basement of Marlinspike Hall after Haddock and Calculus have bought the place. But in the film, they haven't bought it, and Haddock even tells Nestor he can't afford it. So doesn't the treasure legally belong to Sakharine, then?
    • Sakharine may have been stripped of the right to own it due to his criminal activities - who knows, after his arrest they may have discovered that he acquired the mansion, or the money to buy it, by illegal means. And the small treasure found by Tintin and Haddock in the basement may be enough to buy the mansion back (and considering its state of disrepair, it may be relatively cheap).
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    • Sakharine had been arrested, and due to several counts of attempted murder and kidnapping will most likely spend the rest of his life in prison and be stripped of his estates. The butler mentions how nice it would be to have a Haddock in charge of the place again.
    • Even if the treasure does legally belong to Sakharine, they found a map which leads to more treasure in international waters, with which they could just buy the house. So either way, it works out.
  • From the movie, Haddock figures out that Sakarine is really a Rackham because he "remembers" that Red Rackham looked exactly like him. Problem: how can he remember something like that when it was his ancestor, not him, that actually met the original Rackham?
    • Sir Francis might have some sort of documentation of Rackham's appearance while he was alive, like an illustrated "wanted" poster or something. Alternatively, Francis is just really good at giving descriptions.
    • The possibility of reincarnation was mentioned briefly by Haddock. Maybe he inherited Sir Francis' memories, too. That's why he's the only Haddock that survived- because he IS Sir Francis.
  • As soon as the singer breaks the glass, Sakharine immediately yells for everyone to grab Tintin since he's "obviously" trying to steal the boat. So in the whole flurry of the crowd to stop Tintin from taking it, nobody thinks of running to protect the boat itself? (Where a single glance would tell them: "Hey, some hawk is trying to take the boat as well!")
    • Sakharine is basically an esteemed person at the event whom everyone seems to respect. Considering they're all mostly hoity-toity types and servants, would you immediately go against him?
    • Yeah, but that's not the problem. The problem is that everyone knew that someone was trying to steal the boat, but nobody tried to run to protect the boat itself, or even looked it.
      • Three words: Bavarian Fire Drill.
      • The way you're phrasing it is like "someone is trying to steal the boat! It could be anyone!" But that's not the impression everyone has - they have no worries about the boat until Sakharine calls out Tintin as a thief. They're not going to suddenly go on full alert like "oh no, thieves all around" just because of one troublemaker. Most of the people there probably don't even know the boat is special, since it's been in the guy's collection for some time now.
  • The reason why Tintin would not sell the Unicorn model he bought to those desperate bidders in the book, The Secret of the Unicorn is because he got for Captain Haddock as a gift and is too loyal to suddenly sell it for a quick buck. However, in the film, this happens before Tintin meets the Captain at all, so there is no real explanation in the film of why Tintin is so adamant to keeping the model when he could turn a quick profit.
    • The film's version of Tintin is apparently very interested in ships, if his detailed knowledge and awed tone of voice when describing the Unicorn are anything to go by.
    • The fact that Barnaby and Sakharine are so eager to get their hands on the model tips Tintin off that there's more to the ship than it seems.
    • Word of God says that Tintin is also naturally interested in interesting antiques. Anybody who's watched Antiques Roadshow knows that many old items and knick-knacks have good stories behind them, and Tintin, being a journalist, is always on the lookout for a good story as part of his natural drive.
  • Why does the beat-up old freighter Karaboudjan have a catapult-launched seaplane? If the villain installed it, how is it part of his plan?
    • So he can be Crazy-Prepared. It served some use in hunting down stowaways.
    • I'd hazard a guess that the future films are going to feature the plot (or part of the plot) of The Shooting Star which featured the research ship Aurora, complete with seaplane, but they also plan for Haddock to get the Karaboudjan back.
  • Captain Haddock is from a long line of English sea-dogs. So why does he have a broad Scots accent?
    • I kind of tend to assume the accent is really just Translation Convention and that he's really speaking French in-universe. In the comic, at least, we're explicitly told that Sir Francis served in the navy under King Louis XIV.
    • Hergé based Tintin's hometown on Brussels. Marlinspike is about half of a château in France, but set in the environs of Brussels. However, in the English translation it all was transferred to England. The world of Tintin is thus a mix of Belgium, with bits of France and England.
    • For an in-universe explanation, Scotland and England are quite close, and they don't hate each other that much. It's not inconceivable that in the intervening three hundred years one of Sir Francis's descendants plucked up the courage to step over the dread border. Why suppose that a family of sea-dogs would remain in a single region of a single country for three whole centuries?
  • Let me get this straight: Hadoque is sailing with a load of treasure, but pirates attack. Eventually he blows up his own ship, grabs a bit of the gold for himself, and somehow gets to shore (picked up by another ship? I don't know). He fathers 3 sons (or had fathered them already.) Then he creates 3 replicas of his ship, writes 3 cryptic scrolls, hides the scrolls in the ships and sets it up so that the three scrolls held together will reveal the coordinates of...his house. And in the basement of the house, he has hidden the treasure. He tells his 3 sons cryptic things about this treasure, so their descendants can eventually recover it. Um....why did Hadoque bother with all this?. Why even hide the treasure at all? He already had it, why not just spend it? And if he didn't want to spend it, why did he need all the creepy clues? Why didn't he just tell his sons "Hey, there's some treasure in the basement"? It seems like he invented the most roundabout way possible of doing things, just so Tintin could have an adventure.
    • Maybe it was to protect the treasure from Red Rackham's descendants.
    • I don't think it is said, but the insinuation is, I think, that the three sons had a horrible falling-out, so they were each given a clue that would not work without the other two. They would have to work together to get their inheritance. Unfortunately, none of them ever figured out the clues, so the final wish of Hadoque was never fulfilled.
    • It was also a Secret Test of Character; merely finding the basement wouldn't really help. The real test was being enough of a sea dog to spot what was wrong with the globe. Which is why he needed to over-complicate it somewhat; if he had simply said "there's something secret about that globe in the basement", then it'd only be a matter of time before someone simply cracked it open. His sons would need to work together to find the right spot, but only a true Haddock (an experienced sailor), could find the treasure.
  • Along with the small fortune in gold, Hadoque leaves a note which provides a clue as to the coordinates of the ship when it sank. Um...why would he do that? The ship is at the bottom of the ocean. There's no way to recover the gold unless you have a submarine, and I seriously doubt that a 17th-century sea captain anticipated the eventual development of submarines. (Also see the previous bit asking why Hadoque had to keep this information secret from his own sons).
    • The submarine had already been invented in Sir Francis' time, it just hadn't been built. Even if it hadn't been invented, the concept isn't unimaginable as a future technology; nor are strong ships with really big winches, or diving suits.
    • Tintin says that Hadoque did that because "he couldn't let it lie". Presumably Hadoque left the clues so that one day, one of his descendants would be able to recover it somehow.
  • Haddock's grandfather walled off part of the basement before he died. Why? Was it to protect the treasure? But if he knew that the treasure was there, why wouldn't he just take it and use it?
    • Probably because he couldn't figure out how to access the treasure; if Sir Francis Hadoque considered only a true Haddock to be worthy of having the treasure, not being able to figure out where it is means he wasn't worthy of having it. Therefore, before losing the estate, he walls off part of the cellar so that hopefully another Haddock will be able to figure it out, which winds up being his grandson.
    • More likely, I think, he had no idea the clue to the treasure had anything to do with the cellar; he may not even have known there was a treasure to find. As far as the Captain (and his grandpa) knew, the treasure and the Unicorn both sank to the bottom of the sea in coordinates unknown, and Sir Francis's hat full of jewels were spent maintaining his estate. Even so, there's a lot of nice things in the cellar, so whoever sold Marlinspike might have walled it off in the hope they'd get it back safe when their fortunes changed - the rich man's version of hiding
  • Remember that one guy who was shot on Tintin's doorstep? Thompson and Thompson say he was working for INTERPOL, but they don't know what he was working on. How is that possible? Didn't the guy fill out some paperwork or something before he began the case?
    • It was obviously classified information. INTERPOL did, in fact know what Dawes was working on, they just felt like keeping it a secret from local police, most likely because it involved sensitive information or something.
      • I was under the impression that Dawes was in actuality an FBI agent. He has an American accent, and when the police are preparing to arrest the villain at the end of the film, they tell Tintin that they have arrest warrants from both Interpol and the FBI, in that order. They go on to say that Dawes was "one of their agents," and that he was on the villain's trail from the get-go — they already told Tintin after the shooting that he was an Interpol agent, so it wouldn't make sense to mention it again unless they were referring to him being from another agency. If he was from overseas, it might explain why they weren't able to find out what he was working on very easily.
    • If people getting shot on his apartment's doorstep is a common occurrence, why doesn't Tintin move?
      • It's not so much the apartment itself that's the problem. Tintin's own Amateur Sleuth and Gentleman Adventurer tendencies mean that a lot of people would end up shot on his doorstep no matter where he lived.
  • So Barnaby Dawes marked out the letters to the Karaboudjan in blood. How did Tintin know what order to put the letters in?
    • Presumably Barnaby had the good sense to mark the letters in the correct order. Otherwise, it'd be a pretty useless clue.
    • Supported in the film. If you take a closer look at the newspaper, there's a faint trail of blood as he goes between the words, which helps Tintin connect the dots.
  • Isn't the captain supposed to go down with the ship?
    • Not if you're Francesco Schettino.
    • I think the idea is that the captain should be the last person onboard, because he's responsible for everyone else on the ship, so he should make sure everyone else gets out of the sinking ship safely before he leaves it. But Hadoque's entire crew had already been slaughtered, and obviously he felt no such obligations to the pirates who killed them.
  • Isn't it somewhat out of character for Tintin (who, at least in later albums, seemed to be something of a Technical Pacifist) to own a handgun? Yes, he does use guns in the comics, but only occasionally and usually he either has a good reason to be carrying them (such as in Prisoners of the Sun, where he's making his way through jungle/mountain terrain populated by dangerous animals) or he takes them off of people who are trying to kill him in the first place. Him actually owning a gun seems incongruous with his goody-goody image, even if it does indicate him to be somewhat Genre Savvy. Admittedly, Movie-Tintin just might be more pragmatic than Comic-Tintin and even when he does use guns in the movie, he never actually shoots any living people with them, but still.
    • It may just be the animated adaptation, but the line "it's him or us" while Tintin is wielding a machine gun and being attacked by a plane shows that he is willing to kill if it's the only option left. And considering how often Tintin gets shot in the animation, carrying a gun himself just makes sense.
    • Tintin seems to just use it for intimidation most of the time. He never shoots to kill and always uses a melee fist-fight approach when it would be much easier to use the gun. Even when he does fire whilst escaping the Karaboudjan, it's again only for intimidation rather than actually for killing his opponents, or for saving time doing something (moving the lever on the spotlight or cutting the lifeboat ropes). The possession of the pistol early in the film is likely to be for intimidation purposes so that the other person feels that he means business (as shown in the seaplane scene where Tintin threatens the pilots with a gun that's out of ammo).


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