Human portrayal in movies alternates from scenes of extreme cruelty to episodes of intense compassion to one another. In the depictions, it is evident that human nature is forced to juggle moments of showing mercy as well as seeking justice especially when dealing with themes of retribution. As such, the confrontation between protagonists and antagonists proves that some people are merciless while others are full of empathy towards others, even their tormentors. In The Godfather trilogy, Michael Corleone is a ruthless character who easily kills his enemies and friends alike in scenes filled with immense anger and frustration. Schindler’s List also illustrates the evolution of Schindler into a vengeful person due to the suffering he undergoes. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia is a no-nonsense dictator who butchers many people in a rein of terror across the desert as well. All these men seem eager to punish their victims by conducting horrible acts upon them in order to act as a deterrent to others. The level of torture they exhibit is a sign that personalities differ whereby some people use extreme force with little regard to the sanctity of life and consider their actions worthwhile for enforcing their authority (Chaudhuri 58). For instance, Corleone intends to instill fear in people hence the bloody killings conducted by him are meant to scare others from challenging his authority. It is an indication of the inhuman ideologies propagated by some individuals within the society, some of whom derive sadistic pleasure from the offences they commit. Their insensitivity to the fragile nature of life is a reflection of the heartless nature of some people. As a guerilla leader, Lawrence is savage in his dealings with the enemy while Shindler displays little emotion in his duels with other characters. The common theme emanating from the above movies is that of macabre killing techniques that signify the characters’ desire to inflict maximum pain hence an indication of the evil nature inherent in bad people within the society. Their nonchalant attitudes towards the death of their fellow men creates the impression that some people harbor evil ambitions towards others and the thrill they get from such acts shows that they are heinous as well as very manipulative. The tension they raise and fear they instill in others enhances the superiority complex exhibited by some individuals as well. Their penchant to appear bossy also makes them egoistical hence indicating the innate desire by some people to be macho.
In contrast, Miller in Saving Private Ryan, Andy in the Shawshank Redemption and Babette in Babette’s Feast provide a nuanced image of humility, courage, and compassion to their fellow characters. In fact, they abhor hostilities and loathe the thought of death in a manner that proves there are many good human beings. In making this portrayal, these characters reinforce the notion that humanity is meant to be caring and their goodwill gestures are a confirmation of the existence of virtuous men within the society. Miller’s courage and empathy for his captured comrade in a war shows his selflessness and his death upon saving him shows that he is ready to sacrifice himself for the good of another soldier. Andy helps prison guards, fellow inmates as well as other people he met in his life thereby showing charitable signs while Bebette shows kindness to her hosts and forgives her tormentors. In appreciation, she gives them gifts too. It is an indication that genuine desire for the good of others is a virtue that needs emulating even if it means sacrificing one’s time, emotions, and even resources (Baumeister and Bushman 39). Their commitment to the comfort of others is a reassuring image, which bolsters the idea that a loving human nature is prevalent in the world. The reactions of their recipients signifies the commonly held belief that kindness and grace to others is still rife and needs to be practiced often especially when they are in need. For example, Miller risks his life and future to save a soldier to whom they were strangers. He did not abandon the mission even in the face of intense battle and this courage managed to secure the safety of Ryan. An evaluation of this scenario results in the knowledge that such people exist within the society and they are responsible for the advancement of humanity. Their actions portend that perseverance and mercy are worthwhile virtues, which need emulation even though they are existent in a number of people. In fact, the emotional scenes that accompany such interactions are a reminder of the harmonious environment that can result from moments of compassion as well. Their readiness to help others and kind words to them as well as gestures that show their loving nature are refreshing signs of the value of being selfless even to strangers. The three films therefore present a compelling narrative of spreading love and they affirm the capacity of the human nature to do good deeds that earn affection and admiration by other people as well.
Baumeister, Roy, and Brad J. Bushman. Social Psychology and Human Nature. , 2014. Print.
Chaudhuri, Shohini. Cinema of the Dark Side: Atrocity and the Ethics of Film Spectatorship. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014. Print..
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