The American Dream in the Film Scarface Analysis

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The film Surface can be directly compared to the myth of the American Dream. The contemporary perception of the American Dream is one monetary gains and power in society. Surface is a gangster movie in which the main character Tony Montana tries to reach his dream of overwhelming power and wealth. Tony Montana Like Jay Gatsby believed that after obtaining enormous power and wealth, one would live in happily ever after.

The director Brian De Palm like Fitzgerald shows that people seeking the American Dream will not attain happiness because of the unworthiness of its object ND the means used to get to realism It. Money and power alone will lead to corruption and unhappiness. De Palm makes a statement about the facade of organized crime, and the farce of the American Dream by using Tony as a prime example of someone trying to achieve the American Dream. When Tony finally reaches a substantial level of power and wealth, pressure builds up and he gets easily angered and things begin the downward climb.

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Its first starts when he walks over his own partners that were loyal to him from the beginning. Things finally unravel when everyone around him is dead, including his beloved sister. First and foremost, the director shows a classic example of a gangster working his way up literally from rags to riches. Tony starts out as a body guard for one of the big mobsters, and quickly learns that to get to the top in underground cocaine selling, you have to step all over people. The director correlates this advancement in status to the new American tradition of finding any way possible to get where you want In life.

As Tony’s character ‘matures’ during the movie he gets greedier and more violent. His motto was the “World is yours” and believed the world and everything in It was primed for his taking. He climbs his way through the hierarchical ladder, surpassing his former bosses and he believes that he Is on a pedestal alone. Organized crime had developed a stigma regarding its power and influence, especially during its hay day in the sass’s. The mob had always been viewed as a powerful “family-like” organization.

By overturning Lobo’s (Tony’s first boss) position of power, Tony represents the idea of “every man for himself”. The viewer steps into a cut-throat world of power hungry men, all trying to get rich quick. Even this idea of getting rich quick is contradictory to the traditional American dream in which hard ark and thrift are Integral. One might even say that they are attempting to cheat the American Dream. The American Dream is largely presented within film in the sense of the political context: life, liberty and (In particular) the pursuit of happiness but there is no uniform depiction of this.

One film that makes use of the American Dream as a critical tool is the 1983 Brian De ‘OFF plot centers on another loser-hero in the shape of Tony Montana. Montana’s Cuban refugee symbolizes the instability of the Aqua’s cultural mix and the country itself arguably represents a land of opportunity for Montana. However, in contrast to pro- American films, Montana is an unlikable character and his rise to the top is to the top of the criminal underworld (a world that is ultimately his undoing) which leaves a trail of death and destruction.

The film is critical of the American Dream, it presents America as a land of opportunity and success is available to everyone, even refugees such as Montana. Yet, De Palm presents America as a corrupt and mercenary land in which opportunity is available to those who are prepared to go further for success. Go further in the sense that they, like Montana, are prepared to kill and literally dispose of the competition. De Palm was critical of America and presented the view that to be successful in a corrupt world, characters would have to become corrupt as well.

De Palm’s tagging to the video of Surface tellingly claims “He loved the American Dream with a vengeance. ” Another major element in the film’s lasting appeal is its fundamental theme; beneath the mounds of cocaine and buckets of blood, Surface is a quintessential fable of the American Dream, the classic capitalist success story reduced to its essence, then blown up to an operatic scale. Ah, the American dream, that everyone, not matter how lowly their humble singings, can become a success and have it all. It is this hope that drove millions of people from foreign shores to come to this country.

Unfortunately, in the eighties the means to this end for a significant number of people was the nefarious illegal drug trade. Little white powders that could be easily transported and sold for an incredible profit permitted the less moral young entrepreneurs to do everything and anything necessary to grab the riches they coveted. This is the basis of the tale of the Cuban immigrant Tony Montana as told in Surface. As the story begins Tony and his reined Many are literally Just off the boat from Cuba. Tony and Many are dedicated to obtaining their Green Cards and becoming rich.

The more legitimate ways to obtain these goals never seem to cross their minds. They have nothing but disdain for the low paying Jobs they initial obtain and Jump at the chance to work for the local drug lord Frank Lopez. Even in this shadowy underworld they are expected to work their way up in the organization. At first they are in the muscle end of the business, visiting incredible brutality upon their rival gang members. The reputation that Montana gets for rampant violence assures him a quick ascent in the Lopez crime family but that is not enough for Tony, who wants it all. Surface” opens with its own theme song and closes with it, as well. It is more than just coincidence–when it is played in the beginning of the movie, it is during the time of Maries Bay, and hope is everywhere for criminals. When it plays at the end, we have witnessed the American Dream from start to finish. When it plays at the end, there is no hope left for anyone. And wealth through thrift and hard work. However, the industrialization of the 19th ND 20th centuries began to erode the dream, replacing it with a philosophy of “get rich quick”. Www. Prospers. Mom/term-papers/48459. HTML www. Prospers. Com/term-papers/36160. HTML Surface: An American Nightmare In the midst of the American progression into a new era of acceptance and insight, several media of American culture underwent dramatic changes to shed light on otherwise tabooed ideas and lifestyles. Such is the case in sass’s directorial masterpiece Surface. A tale of one man’s Journey to hold the world at his behest and his ultimate tragic disintegration, the film opened the haltered American public view to relate with the film’s central character, Tony Montana.

A man cursed with obsessive ambition. On the surface layer, the movie entitled “Surface” might seem like Just a gruesome tale about the life of a drug dealing immigrant. However, this movie has more meaning to it than this. This story goes in to detail on what some people are willing to do in chase of the American dream. Tony Montana, or Surface was a man who knew what he wanted, but did not have the patients to get it honorably. This description fits many of today’s Americans. The fact that so many people can relate to this I believe, s the reason this movie is considered a classic.

The movie’s main character, Tony Montana also know as Surface, is a Cuban immigrant who fled to America on the Maries boatload. He and his best friend Nominal were forced to stay under the highway over passes in Miami Florida along with hundreds of other Cubans. When offered an opportunity to gain citizenship in return for a favor, being the careless risk taker he was, he Jumped at it. Surface is a story about Tony Montana and his rise and fall living the American dream. Tony was one of over 125,000 Cuban refugees exiled from Cuba by Fidel Castro in 1982.

After three months of living a camp for illegal refugees, Tony is offered a green card and a Job in Miami if he assassinates one of Fidel Castor’s top men sent to America. He takes the offer and kills the man. He is now a full American citizen working as a dishwasher in Miami. He quits the Job after being offered a better underground Job. He must go buy two kilos of cocaine from some Columbians for Frank Lopez, his new boss. After the drug deal goes bad Tony proves himself by delivering the cocaine and the money to Mr..

Lopez after killing the Columbians. Because of that he began to make a lot of money. Only a short time passes before Tony’s lust for power, money, and Franks girlfriend puts him at odds with his boss. He solves this problem by doing what he does best, killing. After Frank puts a hit out on Tony, he kills his assailants, and then proceeds to kill Frank and take over his business and girlfriend. Now he’s made it, he has everything he wants, except the continuous need for more money.

In this country, you goat make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, you to his capitalist running dog neighbor to the north, has sent his country’s undesirables packing, including convicts flushed out of his prisons. The resulting flood of refugees washing up on the shores of southern Florida brings with it a wave of criminal activity. Eager to get in on the action is Antonio Montana (Pacing), ex- prisoner and hit man, and his best friend Manual (Cuban-born Steven Bauer).

Literally carving his way to freedom, Tony, along with his crew, hit the streets of Miami hungry for a slice of the American Dream. Tony, a man for whom “ambitious” is too weak a word, quickly rises up the ranks of the Cuban underworld. Relentless, hired, and heeding no boundaries save those of loyalty and personal honor in his ravenous acquisition of power and status, Tony’s the kind of guy who, if you gave him an inch, would take the whole ruler, and shove it into your throat for good measure.

He’s climbing the ladder straight to the top, and God help anyone unlucky enough to be in his way. Make no mistake, Tony’s a bad man. But, corrupt though he may be, he’s not soulless?he adores his kid sister Gina (Mary Elizabeth Ministration in her debut role), and is determined to the point of psychosis to protect her innocence even as he himself sinks deeper and deeper into a moral abyss. Tony isn’t looking for redemption; he knows he’s damned. But he’ll stop at nothing to keep the one person he truly loves from becoming tainted.

Ironically, it’s that essentially virtuous core? the ability to discern and treasure purity even if he is incapable of it himself?that becomes Tony’s fatal flaw. An outsider to “decent” society but too honorable to exist peaceably alongside true sociopaths, he’s ultimately destroyed by the very world he seeks to possess. The other woman in his life is Eluvia (Michelle Prefer), the beautiful relined of his boss, Frank Lopez (Robert Loggia), an aging, mid-level coke baron who lives by the motto “don’t get high on your own supply” and is as cautious as Tony is reckless.

The moment Tony first sees Eluvia, his eyes light up in recognition and naked want, and we know two things: one, that she’s not going to be Franks girlfriend for much longer; and two, Franks future anti looking too good. Tony’s a man fueled by desire. Having spent his life climbing his way out of the gutter, climbing is now all he knows how to do. Everything else, including his ability to enjoy the things he squires, has been stripped away from his character, leaving only that consuming, unquenchable thirst.

This single-minded intensity serves him well when he’s on his way up, giving him the focus and determination he needs to vanquish his foes and impress all the right people, but like a racer with no brakes, even after he’s crossed the finish line, he can’t slow down. He has to have it all, no matter what?or who?it costs him. Nothing exceeds like excess. Surface is a remake of the 1932 film by Howard Hawks, written by Ben Yecch, and starring Paul Mini as the psychopathic gangster.

That film, too, created quite the stir n its day; Hawks was forced to tone down and reshow scenes in order to make it suitable for release, but the watered-down result was still yanked from theaters and mothballed after a brief run. De Palm and Stone (who was nursing his own “hey” addiction during the making of the film), in updating the film for the sass, up the ante considerably with such unforgettably brutal scenes as a chainsaw dismemberment and a finale involving enough firepower to supply a small army.

The filmmakers follow the original film’s themes and plot structure generally though not same way Hawks did in the ‘ass. Upon its release, critics tore into Surface, announcing its extreme violence, over-the-top depiction of cocaine culture, and record-breaking deployment (206 instances, by one count) of the f-word. (In fact, the film was originally slapped with an X rating, even after three rounds of edits. De Palm eventually convinced the ratings board to give him the R rating when he brought in experts to attest that the film was in fact a realistic depiction of the cocaine industry. Pauline Kale called Surface “a long, druggy spectacle?manic yet exhausted. ” Audiences, too, were largely turned off: the film made less at the box office that year than Jaws 3-D. Yet Surface, far from fading into obscurity, has endured to become one of the most influential and iconic films of the last twenty years. Much of the credit for that success goes to AAA Pacing, whose larger-than-life portrayal of Tony Montana combines the blunt force of a runaway freight train and the psychological layers of Macbeth.

Pocono’s cocky drug lord comes on like a lean, mean bantam rooster, strutting and colorful, almost clownish but for the savage intensity of his hooded eyes and a stark, no-nonsense bravado that stems, not from the need to dominate, but from the willingness to take on whatever the world throws t him. Never the biggest or most physically imposing guy in the room, Tony’s magnetic power lies in his total honesty and the courage of a man who seems to have nothing to lose, even when he in fact has everything to lose.

Another major element in the film’s lasting appeal is its fundamental theme; beneath the mounds of cocaine and buckets of blood, Surface is a quintessential fable of the American Dream, the classic capitalist success story reduced to its essence, then blown up to an operatic scale. Tony Montana fascinates us because on some deep, id-dominated level, we loud like to be Tony, to unleash ourselves upon the world without regard to boundaries or the rule of law.

Tony gains our sympathy because we recognize our most basic impulses in him. Michelle Prefer, as Tony’s Jaded, coke-addled wife, is a revelation. Who would have thought that this neophyte actress, fresh from Grease 2 and seemingly headed for a career as a a-movie bimbo, would hold her own against a veteran like Pacing? Yet Prefer conveys the cool, utterly confident presence of a screen goddess, the living, breathing embodiment of the sexy, shiny brand of success Tony so desperately covets.

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