One of the best movies of time is the “do the right thing” produced, written and directed by Spike Lee back in 1989. The movie called such a resonance that people were starting to argue about the racism problems of America right after the premiere, which took place in Cannes in May 1989. It was a real exhibition of racial altercations and black discrimination.
The film highlights the real and extremely diverse ethnicity of characters, which reflects the actual behavior of each of them. The Italian slang, which Italian guy Pino uses, the black talk of African American delivery – man Mookie, Korean obscenities streaming of the storeowner Sonny – these elements enhance the producer’s will to show the affiliation of the heroes of the film to a particular race.
The plot of the movie develops in a day in a neighborhood where the presence of the black race predominates. At the same time, there is a cultural mix of Italian-Americans, Koreans and Hispanics living there, which brings with it a clash of cultures, xenophobic and racist intentions.
In his movie, Spike Lee shows us a very fresh and dynamic panorama setting that would wipe out an exhaustive analysis of the issues above. The viewer, as he progresses through the plot, observes the characters from their most humanly challenging state to the most vulnerable. First, we are presented with scenes that reflect the daily life of the characters: their attitude, their work, and their behavior. We can know the characters and recognize ourselves in some of their attitudes, their dialogues. Later, the viewer begins to see the cultural frictions, the curses, and talk of hatred between the characters. It is impossible to avoid feeling uncomfortable because of the abundant and explicit xenophobia and racism.
In the movie, no emphasis is placed on the misery of many American neighborhoods, on their poverty, on their inequality, but rather on their disfigured perception of “humanism” and nationalism.
The frictions and confrontations reach their peak with the great conflict and violence in the pizzeria of Sal between him and Radio Raheem allied with Buggin ‘Out.
One of the characters in the movie is Sal, the Italian-American pizzeria owner, who, despite being a bit cantankerous, have a son called Pino, and is a good responsible man, and a hard worker. There are also two young African American victims, which have too radical thinking. Practically all the characters assume that hatred and enmities, shown in a movie, are purely natural. All of the characters in the movie are predetermined and destined to face each other, to fight, to be the superior race or culture and to defend incessantly what they consider as their territory.
“Do the Right Thing” is a kind of introduction into an almost hostile environment, beyond being a comedy, where all the characters are ‘attacked’ by the intensity of the heat on that summer afternoon. This heat puts the characters in a situation they can not leave, either because the police interrupt them while they are getting wet, or because the Koreans do not have the beer that the protagonists want. Spike Lee introduces the theme of social disconformity by highlighting the characters, which are not satisfied with their life situation and belonging to the oppressed classes, and materializing this through the heat.
The film also talks about how the characters have hatred inside since everyone in some way criticizes or discriminates against members of another race or ethnic group, and even creates a certain climate of competition to see who ‘dominates’ the block. It is very clearly seen in the scene where the characters begin to say all the stereotyped insults to other races.
The ending of the movie is also great. Jazz music rises and ends the performance. The curtain closes while the viewer feels even more confused than when everything began.
The most important message that the film transmits to the viewer is the definition and question: ‘What is the right thing?’ The character of Giancarlo Esposito persecutes Sal because, according to him, he should put photographs of African Americans on his wall, not only of Italian Americans. Due to this, a great sequence of violence is unleashed with episodes that are becoming more and more powerful. Because Sal decides to defend his place and his right to decorate it as he wants, a fight takes place, due to which the police kills Radio Raheem, which, in turn, leads to the destruction of Sal’s premises. It is the stage of the plot where the viewer is stimulated to analysis and to seeking for the answer to a question – “is it right that the people of the neighborhood, those who feel oppressed, destroy Sal’s pizzeria? Is this fair and justified?” The viewer is able to understand that all of these actions are not right. Sal cannot be held responsible for wanting to decorate his premises as he pleases and much less for the actions of the police, but the intensity and the heat make the crowd decide to act violently. Spike Lee makes a reflection in this scene showing us the characters as animals that enjoy violence and, beyond getting what they wanted, they bring great sacrifices.
“Do the Right Thing” had great commercial success and received a range of awards. One example of the awards is an Academy Award (also known as the Oscars) for the Best Original Screenplay and the Best Supporting Actor. The film was a true opening for the auditory due to its controversial plot and was listed among the greatest movies of the time. Despite the perfectly developed plot that is often observed in the movies based on literature, “Do the Right Thing” isn’t based on a book. “Do the Right Thing” is one of the best philosophical pieces of a time, which makes us think about the basic values of a human being, as well as about the strivings, needs and an attitude.