Saturday, September 06, 2003
The 20th anniversary of Brian DePalma's Scarface is here. What do i think?
I cannot front, it was a great movie. I must have watched it at least 30 times. I can even recite lines from that movie. I recall cracking jokes with many of my peers using those lines. But let's break the movie down.
1. Al Pacino, an Italian, plays a cuban refugee/criminal, who comes to the US to get a piece of the "American Dream" by any means necessary.
What's wrong with that picture?
a. Al Pacino, an Italian, plays a cuban refugee/criminal, who comes to the US to get a piece of the "American Dream" by any means necessary. Do i need to say it again. Here we have European American playing a Cuban guy. But this character, Tony Montana plays up to all the stereotypes that many people in AMerica have of immigrants from Latin America. Al Pacino plays this stereotype to a tee.
2. The story is a clear demonstration of how Americans are obsessed with the all mighty dollar. It took place in Miami amongst the rich and famous. Tony Montana even had a tiger in his backyard. Michelle Pfeffier , plays his wife, snorts her way through the movie. Even though MOntana is a big time drug dealer, he and his wife waste away in early 80's yuppie style.
3. The irony of violence. TOny Montana, a very ruthless and coldhearted killer, gets into an arguement with an assassin he was supposed to assist in bombing the family of an anti drug politician. He kills the assassin claiming that he does not kill children. This is the proverbial nail in the coffin for the protaganist. yet throughout the movie , TOny Montana kills with no remorse. Ah, the irony.
4. The influence of the movie in the black/latino community:
a. i run into alot of folks who tell me that this is their #1 movie. Like i said, it was great. the Scenes, the plot, the concept, etc. it was ahead of it's time (plus the fact that it was like 3 hours long back in 1983... NO ONE WAS MAKING MOVIES THAT LONG, now everyone is doing it) BUt it's not a movie that 100 years from now, heads will look back and say "what great acting..." to be honest it is Al Pacino at his lowest. His accent was over done. He has made great movies before this such as "DOg Day Afternoon" and "Serpico." To be honest, i find those to be the best movies he ever made. But he is a great actor. one of the best of our generation. But Scarface was his low point. It tells you much about a person who says that this is their favorite movie of all time. Would you show your grandchildren when they are 4 or 5? i doubt it
b. In hip hop culture, the Scarface icon runs rampant. how many album covers simulate the promo posters for the movie? How many people have used soundbites from the movie? How many people have made videos similar to the movie? i can go on and on. Is this a good thing? no! even the movie tells you what happens when you follow this destructive path...
nuff said....(man i said alot...)