Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Gangster No.1 (2000)

This is a bit of an old movie, and is directed by Paul McGuigan (Same guy who directed Lucky Number Slevin) however, the two movie's have a sort of polarity in terms of the message they deliver. Both have the theme of Revenge, but where Lucky Number Slevin glorifies the act of revenge, Gangster No.1 shows its utter futility.

Malcolm Mcdowell plays "Gangster 55" an aged head gangster who retells his past and how he came to be in his current situation. Paul Bettany plays a young "gangster 55" and looks eerily like how Malcolm McDowell looked when he starred as the protagonist in the Stanley Kubrick Classic, A Clockwork Orange, in his younger days.

If you look at the movie from an Islamic perspective it does make you question your goals in life... What exactly are you looking to achieve by the actions you commit today? In the movie, all that is glorified in the beginning and looks so Shiny and Brilliant is shown to be a mirage and when the protagonist finally gets to the top, the view is a dull and dreary life of nothing to look for in the past and nothing hopeful in the future. So from an Islamic perspective... the movie does show you the farce of chasing anything material as the ultimate attainment and the ultimate destination.

The movie is definitely not for kids though, a mature audience is preferred if you really want to discuss the crux of the subject matter. I would consider a this a classic movie, somewhere near the top of Gangster and Mafia movies like Goodfella's and The Godfather, but with a different and more attuned message than those movies.

Warning: Rated R, It has strong brutal violence, pervasive language, and brief drug use and nudity.