Saturday, May 20, 2006

Falling Down

I saw a tiny bit of the movie Falling Down last night, and I was thinking about the film in bed afterwards.

The first time I watched it, I remember I was quite annoyed by the fact that Michael Douglas' character turned out to be a nutter, who had terrorised his family and was setting out to do it again. I had been on his side as he rampaged, the way he was rebelling against the rat-race, abandoning his car in the traffic jam and just setting out to walk home.

At the time I thought it was a cop-out: that failing to conform was presented as incompatible with sanity. We should all be nice little automatons doing as everyone else does.

I suppose turning it on its head and discovering he was more than just a pissed-off commuter, in fact, a fully paid-up member of the nasty psycho-loon brigade, was subverting audience expectations and causing discomfort in that they were sympathising/empathising with someone not only whose mental stability was in doubt but someone capable of evil towards his family.

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