But What Is The Right Thing?

As I was watching Do The Right Thing I couldn’t help but notice the neighborhood stereotypes which crowded the streets of the Brooklyn neighborhood, and I noticed how some of them still exist today. I can relate to some of the experiences that Mookie had, and it’s almost uncanny how much the characters in the movie mirror those in real life.

Living in an apartment complex, I’m exposed to my fair share of characters, and I’ve seen many archetypes that are represented in this movie. There are the kids who rebel against authority, the elders who try to know everyone’s business, the man who relays the news to people, the drunk who tries to look out for people, the well-meaning mentally disabled person, and the opinion leader who supplies everyone with guidance and information. Tensions arise, of course, but they are not as heated as they appear in the movie. Often times there are disputes between different neighbors, but it seldom comes to the point of racial slurs and gang warfare.

This movie, however, does do a good job of showing the unstable nature of the Brooklyn community in the 80’s. The cultural groups are clearly delineated and segregated seemingly by choice, and no one group can seem to peacefully coexist with the other. Mookie presents an interesting character because he seems to be the only one who gets close to being able to interact with more than just his own group. His job as a pizza delivery man allows him access into the different cultural groups of the neighborhood, mainly the Italian-American group, as noted by his friendship with Vito.

Though the movie is only halfway done, I predict that there will be some huge culminating event that will cause the tension between the groups to come to a head, and I’m sure that there can be nothing good to come from it. That being said, I’m sure it will be interesting!

-Jon Farrell

1 thought on “But What Is The Right Thing?

  1. I agree with you that the characters have chosen to segregate themselves. Instead of trying to make a difference for the better, most of them wallowed in their hatred until it exploded and made things worse. However, it was a very interesting film.

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