Essay on Exploring the Movie, Do The Right Thing

Essay on Exploring the Movie, Do The Right Thing

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Do the Right Thing

The first word that comes to mind when thinking about Do the Right Thing is HOT. Everything about this movie was hot, from the weather down to the themes and issues it brought up. It’s interesting too watch this movie while living with a heat wave in NYC. There’s plenty of room for debate as to whether or not anyone did the right thing in this script, in my opinion most of the characters did the wrong thing. What’s interesting to me is to think about what Spike Lee considered the right and wrong thing to do in this screenplay. It’s not just his words as an actor playing a role, he also wrote, directed, and produced the vehicle for those words and actions to come to life. So it’s hard to separate Spike from Mookie, and I don’t think Spike would even want us to. I also wonder about some changes from the screenplay and the film, and the effect the have on the overall message of the film.
The one thing you know for absolute sure about this script, with not much room for interpretation is that it’s hot in Brooklyn when this story takes place. It was clearly a heat wave, and that heat wave spoke volumes as to the current racial climate in the city. A scorching hot city added to the tension the characters were feeling, but Spike did a nice job of letting the tension build throughout this piece. Even at the end of the film when the insanity at Sal’s erupts into a riot scene, you have to be surprised to see it happen. It’s like the characters were living with the oppressive heat of the summer, and you just knew that the heat was a part of life that had to live with. For most of the film, none of the characters shied at all around the subject of race either. It almost made the audience just accept that these charact...


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... lead to his involvement in the events at the end. It was tragic to see him killed, but I didn’t see the loving character that the community saw. I feel of this theme of Love and Hate, Love didn’t get enough coverage. I think this was supposed to be a story about Love losing to Hate, but I don’t think Love was fairly represented here. It was interesting to see the Community at first adamantly deny boycotting Sal’s talking about how they grew up on Sal’s food, and to see how in the course of an evening they were chanting to burn it down. This was a really compelling movie, and to a degree its hard to distance yourself from it. I am a white guy watching it, so its harder for me to see it from Spike’s point of view, but after thinking about the movie for a week or so, he does bring up a lot of excellent arguments. I just hope that violence isn’t the right conclusion.

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