Friday, December 18, 2009

Of Complexion, Complex, and Cruelty

I think that my incisors are still throbbing after watching Tony Kaye’s American History X – a movie where Edward Norton once proved his acting prowess.
The 1998 film tackled racism, an eyebrow-cocking issue that seems to be a part of one’s attitude, which I find really very immature; yet, I cannot ignore the fact that this immaturity is something that ignites war between two people, or worse, between nations. I don’t really know the origin of this pressing matter and I’m not really sure if this came from the hostilities between the tribes from the past. World history disclosed violence of some leaders who ordered their people to kill the foreigners who try to live within their territories. And if the root of genocides under the term of Jozef Stalin, Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein boils down into the difference between human complexions, and then the seemingly-childish behavior is something that people must throw away with their dumps and diapers. Why? One word: Dangerous.

Going back to the movie, it is unsurprisingly violent because it touches a serious matter. Violence is the form of release by the characters who were too pissed about the increasing number of "outsiders" in their community. There’s this scene that Norton’s “gang” (that actually worships Hitler) attacked a store owned by a Korean and the black woman in the cashier was desecrated by his members through pouring stuff on her face. There’s also this scene when Norton mercilessly gun downed the Black robbers who stole his car and the one who was on the verge of death broke his jaw. It is because Norton asked him to out his mouth on the gutter and… Well, just watch it. Or maybe, you know what happened next if you try to read again my first statement. Ouch.

And because what goes around comes around, when Dereck (Edward Norton) was jailed, his brother, Danny (Edward Furlong ) was already tracking his wicked path. Good thing that Dereck had this realization about the mistakes he did before and so when he was released, he tried his best to save his brother from ending up like him.It’s an 8/10 film for me and it instantly lands on my top picks. The intensity of Edward Norton’s acting ability is actually just the second factor why it receives a good score. The way it approaches the problem, I suppose, is one of the reasons why it is listed as one of the Top 100 Films of the 90’s.

By the way, because I am feeling extra creative, I made this thing where I quoted the best line from the movie. I also posted this in my tumblr.

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