A young American and his English wife come to rural England and face increasingly vicious local harassment.A young American and his English wife come to rural England and face increasingly vicious local harassment.A young American and his English wife come to rural England and face increasingly vicious local harassment.
Explaining Today's Shooting Sprees
I never saw a film so simple and yet so complex at the same time. This is how sophisticated Sam Peckinpah was as director of Straw Dogs. He must have had a god-like understanding of human beings and their vulnerabilities, or Straw Dogs would have turned out a forgettable made-for-TV movie. On the contrary, the film is increasingly relevant to mankind as time goes by, surpassing even a classic branding. The story plot and the script are exceptionally well-done, as it rids the viewers of any disbelief from early on. You stop asking why they move there, why Amy Sumner chooses to conduct herself that way, why there is tension between her and the husband. Why the rape is emotionally mixed between yearning and disgust on her part, and all the rest. You subscribe to the film from the beginning, and helplessly follow them every step of the way until every bit of emotion is brutally unfolded and till tail lights of that white car disappears into the darkness. If you show this 1971 film around the US today, it would be easily alleged of campaigning for the National Rifles Association to support the rights to bear arms. It is scary to discover that violence does not have to start from your own inclination or their provocation. Violence can be a result of mutual contempt without you being conscious of helping to develop one. In this film, violence is much a combination of David, Amy, Charlie, Chris, Norman, Henry, Tom, Reverend Barney Hood, to even the lawman Major John Scott, who represents a mindset of "the law is dead". Sam Peckinpah, as this film was first released, was condemned almost unanimously by critics and viewers alike. He was accused of glorifying violence, in support of a lawless society, and in favor of Doomsday's analogies. Today we see him as a prophet who was and is wise. His analysis of social problems is second to none. You can even restructure all governments' crime-preventing policy based upon his films, particularly on this one. Someone made the right call not to try any sequels of this film. The reason is obvious: we now become the real-life sequel of David Sumner's driving Henry Niles into the dark on that fateful night.
- Dec 13, 2015
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