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Movie Reviews

Do The Right Thing  

1989 120 mins

Director- Spike Lee
Starring Danny Aiello - Sal
Spike Lee - Mookie
John Turturro - Pino
Bill Nun - Radio Raheem

For the first two thirds of the movie the plot is centered on the daily goings on of various people in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighbourhood in Brooklyn on the hottest day of the year where tensions rise until the climax of the movie. These tensions are caused by... well, most people in the movie being racist, with the blacks hating the Italians who own the local pizza place and vice versa, the racist white cops and the Korean dude who owns another shop getting abused all day.

The mood of the film is set in stone during these first parts and the climax that eventually comes seems inevitable. This is helped by both the acting - there are some good performances from Danny Aiello and John Turturro in particular - and the way in which it is shot. The camera is often right in everyones face and is shot in a quasi-documentary style constantly following the action around where ever it went giving it an unpredictable feel. The choas of the final scenes is captured perfectly.

This is definitely a good thing from the point of view of the story but it seemed that the story was all about people looking for an argument and wanting things to go off in the way they did, no one tries to put a stop to any of the bad feeling that exists, they just accept it and most of the time add to it. But alas I think this is exactly what Mr Lee was looking for. He made the points that he wanted to make with Do The Right Thing, whether you agree with him is a whole other matter.


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