48Facets on American Gangster

It is virtually impossible to build complex characters in a movie. Just not enough time. In American Gangster the two main characters have at least two facets each. Frank Lucas, played by Denzel Washington, is a ruthless killer and drug lord. He also believes in discipline, honor, trust and family. He can be both at the same time. In one scene he is having breakfast with his brothers and talking about these traits when he calmly interrupts his talk to walk over to a rival who owes him money, pulls out his gun and shoots the man in the head in a crowded street.

Richie Roberts, played by Russel Crowe, is the most honest cop in the free world. In an early scene he uncovers $1 million in cash in a bad guy’s car and turns it in because it is the right thing to do. He is also a man who routinely cheats on his wife and makes no time for his son.

People we know in real life tend to get a halo effect. If we think of them as good people we assume that they are good at all aspects of their lives. Not necessary true. No more than the a-hole at work necessarily being one in another environment. Even if he/she is that way everywhere there may be other talents the person has that would make them envied in society. How else can one explain the Britiny Spear types of the world. Even a movie writer couldn’t make that up.

About 48facets
What you read is what you get.

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