The films selected for this essay are Good Night, and Good Luck by George Clooney and The Untouchables by Brian De Palma.
The Portrayal of the Subject Matter by Chosen Films
It is worth noting that the movie Good Night, and Good Luck portrays its subject matter using political ideologies and relationships between individuals with varying ideologies. For instance, it highlights the rejection of individuals such as Milo Radulovic because of association with community. He is mainly rejected because of his sister’s political ideologies and his father’s involvement with the Serbian newspaper, where communism is highly upheld.
The film The Untouchables portrays its subject matter using the influence of powerful individuals in the society. It mainly refers to them as untouchables because of their influence, which tends to keep them above the law. For instance, Al Capone is untouchable because of his great influence in Chicago. He can control police officers hence continuing to engage in illicit business with impunity. Therefore, the film addresses its subject matter using the power of wealthy individuals and their ability to manipulate authorities using their resources.
Comparing and Contrasting the Presentation of the Topic to Lectures and Textbook
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The movie The Untouchables presents its topic in a similar way to what we discussed in the lectures, because we can see the powerful individuals being brought down at the end. In the lectures, we discussed the view that villains are likely to suffer a sudden ending in their lives. This is similar to what happens to Al Capone at the end as his laws disown the not guilty plea to the guilty plea leading to the sentencing Al Capone to eleven years in prison. The story brings out the view that Al Capone does not remain powerful throughout the story. However, there are no differences in the presentation of the topic to what we learnt in class.
On the other hand, the movie Good Night, and Good Luck differs significantly from what we learnt in our lectures in terms of its topic presentation. This is especially because the film focuses mainly on advocacy, which we did not capture in our lectures. It reiterates the need to embrace everyone without necessarily dwelling on their political inclination. This differs from the normal tendency of a movie telling its story from the hero’s perspective. I did not notice any hero at the end even after Murrow tries to defend Milo Raduulovich. I did not notice any similarities in topic presentation.
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The most interesting and relevant idea in the film Good Night, and Good Luck relates to Edward R. Murrow’s dedication to defend individuals believed to be attached to communist views. He feels that individuals who hold differing opinions should be treated equally. He defends Radulovich when accused of communism. This is relevant because it indicates the need for a balanced society where everyone is treated fairly. I do not have any critical remarks about how this film presented American history; this is especially because it gave a real account of what happened in the U.S.
The most interesting and relevant idea in the film The Untouchables is the ultimate arrest and prosecution of Al Capone. We need to have a society where the mighty are also brought before law enforcement agencies. It is relevant to the entire society where everyone should be treated equally before the law. However, my key criticism of the film’s illustration of American history is that it does not give a direct account of what happened in the U.S. It tends to focus on individuals’ conduct instead of telling the country’s history.
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