Do the Right Thing is a movie produced in 1989 when racial tensions were at their peak. The movie revolves around a neighborhood that is inhabited by Puerto Ricans and African-Americans. The movie depicts many tensions that emanate from peoples’ desires to be deemed as the superior race. Notably, Buggin’ Out starts a protest in Sal’s Pizzeria regarding the pictures that Sal should include on his wall of fame, which eventually sparks a lot of anger from the local residents as the police kill Radio Raheem. These events result in burning down of Sal’s Pizzeria, which was orchestrated by Buggin’ Out to retaliate the death of Radio. After the fire at Sal’s store was extinguished; Smiley, who was the owner of the Korean Market hangs two pictures on the remainder of Sal’s Wall of Fame. The movie ends with two quotations one from Malcolm X and another one from Martin Luther, which sends contradicting messages to viewers.
This essay provides an analysis of Do the Right Thing Movie by Spike Lee.
From the movie, Lee tries to denote where the urge to clash originates, and he does this in a clear manner for viewers to know that the clashes were not motivated by rational grievances. The main motivations for the clashes include the need to assert dominance, cool off steam given that it was the hottest day of the year, impressing friends, and healing of wounded pride. However, it is easy to notice that politics also motivated the personal issues that characters in the movie had. For instance, the vendetta between Radio Raheem, Buggin’ Out and Sal emanated from the fact that Sal refused to hang pictures of some brothers on his Pizzeria’s Wall of Fame.
The release period of the movie and the scenes also depict the racial tensions that were present during 1980s. The movie depicts how racial differences contributed to losses to all the people that actively participated in it. From the movie, it is actually the psychological processes, which motivates individuals to violence; thus, leading to the impossibility of determining who the main perpetrators were and how the stalemate could have being solved. Despite racism playing a significant role towards the ending of the movie, human nature also features essentially, as it is intertwined in various aspects of the movie such as sequences and shots, music cues and lines, and the opposing forces that argue with each other, but does not arrive at a solution.
The characters in the movie denote opposing impulses, which collide with each other. However, no person including those that are beaten or dressed down emerges victorious as the conflicts in the movie end as a momentarily collapse. The characters in the movie keep circling around each other in anticipation of another chance to clash. This is also evident in the character’s dialogue as they repeat themselves to facilitate altering of the intended meaning. A good example depicts where Da Mayor responds to the police regarding who turned a fire hydrant stream on a passing driver. Thus, there is some form of grappling evident from the individual lines from the movie, the characters, and the plot.
In conclusion, the end of the movie depicts the uncertainty of the producer as two contradicting quotes are utilized. One of the quotes was by Malcolm X, and it advocated for self-defense in certain situations while the other quote is by Martin Luther King, Jr. and it condemns violence. It is easy to notice that the motivation for clashes were not rational, but was motivated by self-assertion and the need to cool off the steam on a hot day. The release of the movie was also timely as it came out after a period of racial tensions evident in the US and other European countries. Lee utilized characters, music, and the plot to the fullest. He ensured that all these have some form of grappling in order to enhance the movie’s appeal to its viewers.