MrMary@The Movies: Lawless


The trumpet call was sounded and like the four horsemen of the Apocalypse we assembled on Flushing Multiplex. It was only fitting that as we gathered together to exacerbate the end of  the week, the tail end of the tornado that hit Queens hit the area as well.

The Plan

While the city at large was lambasted with the storm, the denizens of flushing were  met with MrMary, Lil Rascal and el Viejo bearing the gifts of nihilism, inebriation, and male-pattern aggression. What this means is that since the movie was about prohibition we bought some rum and each bought large cokes and then the going on got a-going on. Then we walked around Flushing with brass knuckles eagerness, and rum.

The Movie

The movie is based on real life happenings of the Bondurant brothers as depicted in the book The Wettest County in the World written by Matt Bondurant one of the descendants of the three brothers depicted in the movie. The book tells the story of a family of three brothers during the Depression in rural Virginia, who made a living bootlegging moonshine. This movie has many different threads that is weaves together into a fascinating study in character.

Characters

Tom Hardy plays is the middle brother Forrest. He is a very quiet character in the fact that his  action , even his silence speaks louder than his words. He is stoic and of all the brother he is the symbol of the rebellious nature of the South. He speaks through a lot of grunts which were at times comical, but really helped to make the character very iconoclastic.  I think the wardrobe was very fitting for this characters. The clothes, gave the appearance of a someone almost stolidly stoic almost impassive. Then we see Forrest in Action. it is an interesting dichotomy.

This dichotomy is central to the movie really we see it manifest in the lives of the Bondurant brothers  each in it unique way. For Jack the youngest brother played by Shia la Beouf he is really ambitious and wanting to prove himself but he doesn’t have the guts and stones to be as ruthless as his brothers can be when needs be.

Maggie Beauford is a very sultry dancer who escaped the insanity of gang ridden  Chicago to work in the brothers bar. She has an attraction to Forrest, and she adds a much needed feminine touch to the environment.

Guy Pearce plays the antagonist. Though he is a man of the law he is sadistic in every sense of the word and enjoys it. Though Guy Pearce plays a special

The Setting

I have over the course o the years driven through most of Virginia. It’s a beautiful country. The scenes of the driving through the woods really take me back to memories. What is always interesting to me are these kind of films. That take clear  protagonist and antagonist and place them in a very  violent, sort of LAWLESS environment. In such an environment the labels we give to things like good and bad fall to the ground and we really see how far each character is willing to go in the pursuit of what they want.

Conclusion and thoughts

First off this movie was very fun to watch even without the copious amounts of rum its great to watch judging from the chattering during and after.  It is a really engaging movie.  I am happy top recommend this movie.

These type of movies really bring us back to the ethos of the mythic American history. The ambiguity between good and bad, order and lawlessness those themes are what fed the movies I grew up on i.e. the Spaghetti Western. Its a unique avenue to viewing our mythic past. Maybe Ill write about that another time.

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