Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ghandi & Frank Lucas

Last weekend, Scott and I spent two of our weekend nights in front of the TV watching a movie. Fri night was Ghandi. Add him to my list of favorite people. Jesus is #1 with the stories of his character, selflessness, servanthood, discipline and commitment to a higher calling on his life (regardless of whether you believe him to be God or not, given you own personal faith background) I used to have MLK placed right around 2 on the list. But I believe Ghandi just bumped him down. In watching that movie, I couldn't help but liken that man to Jesus. He was an amazing influence in his time, teaching about non-violence, the follies of money and material things, that we are all EQUAL in God's eyes, it goes on and on. Scott rolled his eyes when I placed "Ghandi" on Netflix. And they were still rolling right up to minute 5 of the movie. He was sucked in. If you are in a need-to-believe-in-mankind-again mood, watch this flick.

After Saturday night's movie, I felt like I needed to re-watch Ghandi. Because "American Gangster" could not have been more on the polar opposite side of the moral spectrum. Based on a true story, this movie is about the black man Frank Lucas, who propelled himself into a drug enterprise by eliminating the "middle man" in drug purchasing, going straight to the source in Vietnam and other eastern countries. A NY cop assigned to hunt down this man in a time when heroin was INFECTING the city and CORRUPTING the drug trafficing police ends up doing so succesfully, placing Frank Lucas behind bars.

The message we, as viewers, heard a few times throughout the movie is that Frank Lucas, the real man, could have done ANYTHING. He had that personality that exhibited the law of attraction. He looked at the "business" he ran as just that: a business. And the methods, style, intelligence, and leadership he used to run that business was impressive. He was so smart about the psychology of people, that HE could have led the people of India to independence. I guess what I'm trying to say here, is that some people got leadership and some people have less of it. Ghandi chose to use his for God and for people. Frank Lucas chose to use his for himself and for his pleasure.

But here's what we couldn't believe. In the process of imprisoning Frank Lucas, the cop who arrested him spends the next couple years "working" with Frank in jail to uncover all of the crooked drug trafficing police who were being paid off to keep heroin alive and well on the streets (those crooked cops may as well have been drug dealers, as far as I'm concerned - criminals just alike). In all that time together, Frank and the cop who nailed him became friends, kindred spirits if you will. And in the "special features" part of the DVD, where they show the REAL men (instead of D. Washington and R. Crowe)... we are told that one is Godfather to the other's grandchild. Like real, true FRIENDS. Frank is out of jail now. And the two spend TIME together. I couldn't get over it. They should be enemies. They should hate each other. I'm still talking about it. It just amazes me.

So, when you have rated R only eyes around, rent that movie. It's a downer, but a WELL done movie.

You may need to watch Ghandi a second time after exposing yourself to American Gangster.

1 comment:

bb mcclain said...

I remember going to see that movie when it first came out. Ben Kingsley won an oscar for his portrayal of Ghandi. Ghandi was a giant of a man who sacrificed all for his country.