Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam and his assassination.
It's the hottest day of the year in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, and tensions are growing there, with the only local businesses being a Korean grocery and Sal's Pizzeria. Mookie, Sal's delivery boy, manages to always be at the center of the action. Written by
Jon Reeves <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Danny Aiello admitted that he almost turned down the part of Sal when he saw that he'd be playing the owner of a pizzeria, believing it to be a lazy stereotype of Italian-Americans. See more »
When Mookie throws the trash can through Sal's window, the reverse shot from inside the restaurant reveals the main camera, in the lower left portion of the screen, dollying in towards the window as it's smashed. See more »
A scorching summer day brings racial tensions to their boiling point in a Brooklyn neighborhood. Seen through many points of view Spike Lee paints a convincing and critical picture of tensions in the most diverse city in the USA.
The film's strength is its ability to ring true to many sets of ears and especially if you frequent or live in a big city. You always here of events - big and small - on the news and there is usually that element of "racial tensions" or "possible racial motive." In a city where over 200 different languages are spoken (which can give you an idea of how many distinguishable cultures there are) it is only a natural ingredient for friction between people. Whether you hate the other guy, or are just annoyed that you can't understand him nor he you, when all you want to do is buy some groceries. This film shows many situations of this type and how everyone is, in a sense, innocent and guilty at the same time. If a situation gets out of hand and you have people throwing slurs at each other there is that famous expression: "he crossed the line." Well even with critical hindsight, this "line" isn't always visible and when it is, it's faint.
Spike Lee manages to show that very well and with a lot of diverse characters, hence the film being able to ring true with an equally diverse audience.
The only problem is that in today's America the issue is more about class and not just race, though race and class are intertwined. "Crash" presented the issue of class and lifestyle a little bit more thoroughly, but in the end felt preachy and unrealistically sentimental. "Do the Right Thing" is much tighter and the film's climax and overall impact is more powerful. Also of the note is the terrific acting from the entire cast. --- 9/10
Rated R for profanity and some violence
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