Monday, January 20, 2014

Do the Right Thing (1989)

IMDb plot summary: On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.
Directed by Spike Lee. Starring Spike Lee, Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Giancarlo Esposito and Bill Nunn.

(Some spoilers ahead for this one.)

This movie sneaks up on you. At first, it seems like a casual, lighthearted slice of life film, but as the characters are revealed more and more and the tensions on the street become clearer, it starts to really grab your attention - or at least it did for me. 45 minutes in, I wasn't sure I was going to "get" this movie, but by the end I found myself very... moved. (The one shot at the end of Smiley standing in the burning house pinning up his little photo of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. is an image that I suspect will hold onto me for awhile.)

I also really liked including the opposing quotes about violence at the end of the film, as I felt it tied the film together nicely, capturing the tension of realizing this fighting for justice thing is HARD and it's not always easy to know what exactly "the right thing" is.

This is definitely a movie that I think I need to sit with for awhile to really grasp it. 4 stars.

Flickchart: #419 out of 1994, below Face/Off and above It Happened One Night.

Rent on Amazon for $2.99.

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