Scarface Analysis Essay
The gangster movie genre is one of the most popular among the modern movies and some of the best film directors have produced some very excellent gangster movies. For my first film analysis, I decided to analyze my favorite gangster movie of all time. The movie that I analyzed is called “Scarface” and is directed by Brian De Palma. It was released in 1983 and is still a super hit movie today. Let me go through a short summary of the movie. The movie is focused around the life of a man by the name of Tony Montana and depicts his rise to power from a political refugee from Cuba to a drug warlord.
In the course of the movie, Tony Montana also known as Scarface, is able to go from a dishwasher in a small restaurant to a very powerful man in the States through the drug trafficking and distribution of large amounts of Columbian cocaine. The movie shows Scarface’s rise to fame and then his downfall caused mainly through cause and effect. Now that I have briefly described the summary of the film, let us focus on other factors of this film. First, I would like to outline how time is displayed in the film. Time is displayed in a very efficient manner.
The opening scene begins with a black and white figure of Fidel Castro giving a speech on how he does not want rebels holding back the revolution in his country. When the credits start, there is footage of ships packed with Cubans being taken to Florida, and from this we understand what Tony has gone through before we pick up with him. After all the credits roll by, the actual movie starts focusing on the main character himself. The opening scene is of an interrogation and the camera is focused on Tony for the most part. From here on the movie runs in a linear sequence and there are no flashbacks or other setbacks.
Another point that I want to run across is how the camera shows the one side of Tony’s face that has the scar on it. From this I could presume that Tony is the main character (Scarface) and is quite tough from his past experiences. Second, I want to cover the cause and effects registered in this movie. A very reoccurring cause and effect in this movie is whenever Scarface gets angry or mad he snorts more and more cocaine. I found this relatively funny because by the end of the movie he is snorting a ton of cocaine that leads up to his demise.
Another effect that is shown throughout the movie is Scarface growing in success and reputation. The cause of this is the many successful business deals that he undertakes and engages in. Another effect is that he makes more and more enemies along the way. This is due to his reputation and power rising. Another cause and effect occurs when Scarface has an argument with his wife and yells at her about her not being able to produce any children for him. This later on causes him to fail a mission because he is not able to bring himself to kill children.
A major cause and effect in the story occurs when Scarface sees that his best friend is with his sister. At this point Scarface kills his best friend, which causes his sister to go into major depression, and which pushes him to indulge in even more cocaine which leads to disaster. Next, let us discuss the primary causal agent in this film. I believe that the primary causal agent in this film is an ideology and not a person. The story portrays capitalism as a pursuit of happiness for the main character. If I did not analyze this film, I may have not found that capitalism is the cause of everything in this movie.
Scarface leaves Cuba in order to get away from the communists. He comes to America to achieve the ‘American Dream. ’ The main goal of Scarface throughout the movie is to get as rich as possible which reinforces my theory. Furthermore, capitalism displayed in the film provides much range and depth for the filmmaker to work upon. The movie focuses entirely on Tony and we know just as much as he knows. The filmmaker carves Tony’s character and personality very carefully and we find him a very aggressive and demanding man throughout the movie.
His thick accent and lack of education is accounted for through his sharp mind and his ability to judge people by their facial expressions. Through his character, Tony is able to rise quickly through the drug industry to the very top and manage it very successfully. Moving on, the movie displays instances in which it takes the audience by surprise. Before I go into this, I would like to outline expectations that are expected from Tony by the audience. These expectations are created when Tony sees a blimp with the words “the world is yours,” etched across it during the beginning of the movie.
From this we can analyze that Tony will rise to power eventually in the movie. Now let us move on with surprises that we encounter through the movie. The first surprise that we encounter is when Tony goes to make his first drug deal and almost loses his life in the process. I was very surprised when this happened and it really grabbed my attention from there. Another surprising scene occurs when Tony emotionally kills his friend’s brother who is hired to help Tony kill a news reporter and his family.
From this scene, the audience is once again shocked to see that a cold hearted killer has morals in high regards when it comes to killing children. Finally, let us wrap this up with the message the movie is trying to relay to the audience. I believe that the message that the movie portrays is simple; “the world is yours. ” This message clearly means that everything comes at a price and power can be bought. Another message that the movie portrays is that a life of crime can make you successful, but if you become too thirsty from greed, your downfall is unavoidable. Overall, this was a great movie to watch and analyze.