Do the Right Thing by Spike Lee – Movie Review Example
Do the Right Thing (Spike Lees film) The main planning issue that Spike Lee covers in his film ‘Do the Right Thing’ focuses is societal uneasiness. His focus was to reflect on the obvious racial tension in a confined Bed Stuy community. The film director also brings out the daily struggles of a small community. There was a continuous battle between the African Americans and the whites using the issue of race as the main motivation for various uncharacteristic actions. In this film, the director focuses on different races, cultural issues and beliefs mostly of which are directed towards a different group. There is very little respect among the groups. At one point, the verbal assaults exceed and the community members resort to physical assaults. With tensions in the community, it means that there is an obvious struggle in the community (Lee 40). The community is struggling to cope with its normal lifestyle because of the unending tensions. There are also various acts of antagonism or hatred between characters in the film.
The film’s home base is the Sal’s Famous Pizzeria. The community in this case uses the establishment during battles of the ethnic power. The establishment is an Italian run restaurant, and it caters all residents residing in the community and the neighborhood. It is the community’s traditional place where battles of the ethnic power take place. In most cases, a boxing ring was used during the supremacy battles. On the other hand, the gathering place also indicated that the community was in an urban neighborhood. There is an obvious tension in the building, and this is evident when characters emit pores of sweat during the battles of race. Physical confrontations take place between Sugar Ray Robinson and Jake LaMotta (Lee, 54). Scorses wages a fight between two competing races for supremacy and respect from the enemy. There is a war between Italian Americans and Black men all battling for domination over cultural aspects. Racial tensions are legally released in this arena. Matches in the ring give a sense of competition and ethnicity division
The Bed Stuy community was isolated community where certain norms and cultures were followed. The confined community was small in the sense that nearly every community member would gather at the Sal’s Famous Pizzeria to participate in the battles for the races (Lee 34). On the other hand, Lee reflects the life of African-American communities in New York. Therefore, this means there is the urban neighborhood aspect throughout the film. Additionally, the director uses character conflicts and contrasting styles in the film that is mostly experienced in African-American communities living near Brooklyn New York.
Apart from the main planning, which is racial tension in the community, Lee brings out the aspect of social norms in the community. Also known as mores entail behavior rules, which are considered conventional in certain societies or communities. In most cases, people who fail to follow the social norms are mostly likely to be shunned. Lee brings out the battle of the ethnic power as a social norm in the community where the entire community would participate gracefully at the Pizza shop (Sal’s Famous Pizzeria). Theses cultures and social norms were common in the common to the extent that some would say, “If you didn’t feel the first excitement, you will never quite understand what it meant” (Thompson 35) In this case, racial tensions were legally released in a boxing ring at the Sal’s Famous Pizzeria (Lee 64).
There is also the urban aspect throughout the film. Various elements of physical design and urban density are quite evident in the Bed Stuy community. The presence of Sal’s Famous Pizzeria in the community means that in as much as the community is isolated and confined, it was an urban neighborhood with urban density. The community’s physical design depicts Brooklyn community in New York. Sal’s Famous Pizzeria also had a boxing ring arena, which meant that the community is not a traditional community. Being an isolated community, the community was not dense. In fact, the population in the community was less dense in the sense that nearly all community members knew each other. This was evident during the battles of the battle of the ethnic power at the Pizza shop.
Despite the obvious different races, cultural issues and beliefs mostly of which are directed towards a different group and little respect among the groups, the film finally ends with different political philosophies thus the non-violence, which stresses on equality and peace between the races involved. The other philosophy emphasized on violence use thus defending oneself from others or rather intelligence. Through the conflicting styles and specific characters actions, Lee demonstrates the possibility of understanding and hope between different ethnic backgrounds.
Lee, Spike, Jason Matloff, and Steve Crist. “Spike Lee, Do the Right Thing. Los Angeles, CA: Ammo Books, 2010. Print.
Thompson, David. “When Is A Movie Great? The Perils of Medium and Magic.” Harper’s Magazine. 2011