you know what i just LOVE about bvs? even though bruce & lex shared like minimal screentime, their arcs were incredible parallels
out of the main characters, they two are the billionaire industry heads with their own manmade, self-made power at their fingertips.
it is their responses to superman, who they perceive as a huge threat, that drive the conflicts of the film, and it’s so fascinating how their responses are not only hinged upon the practicality of living alongside a god-like alien but they are INEXTRICABLY TIED TO THEIR CHILDHOODS; they furiously self-project their insecurities and fears and pain upon clark -
BRUCE: WATCHED HIS PARENTS DIE IN FRONT OF HIM AS A CHILD, HELPLESS AND UNABLE TO DO ANYTHING. WHAT HAPPENS IN THE BEGINNING OF THIS FILM?? he “lets his family die” AGAIN, from the streets of metropolis, POWERLESS AND HELPLESS ONCE MORE. and it is because of superman.
LEX: SAVAGELY ABUSED BY HIS FATHER, FINALLY HAS CLAIMED THE EMPIRE OF THE MAN WHO TERRORIZED HIM, ASSUMING A SEMBLANCE OF CONTROL AND POWER. (i also think it’s VERY obviously hinted at that he murdered his father.) he is at the zenith. and THEN SUPERMAN APPEARS. and the feeling of powerlessness
(that turns men cruel) returns with him; everyone reveres him as this wonderful being. just like lex’s father was the revered head of the company - but the public face masked cruelty and indecency, so lex is driven to show people “what superman really is.” what his father was. A FRAUD & A MONSTER.
not to mention his private rage over the fact that god was never there to help him when he was being hurt, so everything this godlike superman does is meaningless to him, because he wasn’t there for HIM, WHEN HE NEEDED HIM.
and i think someone even SAYS it in the montage where clark is saving people, that detractors are projecting on superman, when all he is “is a guy just trying to do the right thing.”
for these two, as they wrestle with the concept OF superman, he becomes a blank canvas for them to project their fears and childhood demons upon. it’s SO deliberate that he rarely shows up AS superman in front of either of them; it’s all about perceptions here.
and it is in the end when they diverge. bruce finds a bridge between the two of them through his childhood, through their MOTHERS. and lex never backs down and everything around him crumbles as a result; by the end he truly is powerless.