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Miss Malevolent 02-02-2004 05:55 PM

Vigilantism
 
I just finished watching two movies in the last two days about this subject...

Mystic River and a French film called, Irreversible.

Both, I felt, were excellent films but the subject matter was so disturbing because they're really films about NOT taking matters into your own hands.

If you haven't seen these movies and you want to see them without any spoilers, please stop reading now, go see them and come back to the thread.

Mystic River is about a murdered 19 girl who happens to be Sean Penn's daughter in the movie. He doesn't trust the police (Laurence Fishburne and Kevin Bacon) to handle the investigation and does some investigating of his own.

Enter childhood friend of both Penn and Bacon, Tim Robbins...some event happened long ago where Robbins was kidnapped by two male child molesters.

Tim is damaged mentally from the event...and one night comes home with blood all over him, Tim got that way because he caught a pedophile and beat him to death with his fists as the little boy (or young male prostitute ran off). Tim dumps the body and lies to his wife about what happened. Unfortunately that's the same night Penn's daughter turns up dead. Thus starts the spiral downward.

Mistaken conclusions are drawn...the real killers are found and brought to justice by Fishburne and Bacon, unfortunately, Penn at that same moment is gutting open Robbins and putting a bullet in his head.

Here is the conundrum of it all...Sean killed an innocent man, while Tim killed a guilty one, both thinking that they had the right to dispense out justice. Basically, if you think that it was wrong for Sean to kill Tim then you have to equally think it was wrong for Tim to kill the pedophile. I wasn't sad the pedo died, but I was sad that Tim did cause he didn't "deserve" it.

In Irreversible...same thing...an "innocent" man dies because of mistaken identity. It's a revenge tale told in reverse....a man dies in a gay club called "The Rectum" (face smashed in with great detail by a fire extinguisher). Worst thing about the movie is they HAD the rapist but his buddy stepped in and got killed instead cause they thought the buddy was the actual rapist.

So going back along the time line you see why this all came about, because the rapist attacked the girlfriend of one of the guys hunting for him. Raped her and then kicked the shit out of her til she fell into a coma. What's worse is this rape scene is like ten or fifteen minutes long, so you really want this rapist to die...but you already know he doesn't, cause his buddy was the one with his brains smashed on the floor at the beginning.

It's a ****ed up situation...you see that these guys are going to jail for killing the wrong guy, the girl is in a coma, and the real bastard just "gets away with it." So you sit there pissed cause you watch how things were lovely and nice (at the end/beginning) knowing there is nothing to stop the, "irreversible" events that are about to unfold at the beginning/end). Once again, a situation where the "hero", had the "right of vengeance", but took it out on the wrong guy.

These questions of, "who has the right of vengeance", are really disturbing cause while it was wrong for the innocent guys in both these pictures to die, I still wanted the rapist to go down, and I didn't give a shit about the pedo that died. And when you're dealing with vengeance sometimes the innocent go down with the guilty.

And the question is, is that an exceptable thing?


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