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On 8/29/97 Chris Worsnop wrote:
 
>Last night  I watched a video my daughter brought home of Braveheart in
>"Ransom".
>I don't think my analysis of it is outstanding in any way, but I thought I'd
>offer it as grist for the thread in Screen-l on perversion in films.
>It's a story that tells how superior the white male entrepreneur is to all
>other forms of creation, especially women, whose judgement is shown to be
>soft at the core - based upon emotion instead of a solid understanding of
>how money works in society; and far better than Black FBI agents who are
>wrong in their judgements, and just plain don't have the right stuff.
>The bad guy in the film, by the way, is a crooked cop, so between him and
>the FBI agent the film trashes every authority except the good old
>self-reliant rich man.
>I sort of think this might qualify as a perverted view of the world. ;-}
 
This is not quite precise, and the situation in RANSOM is not that simple.
The Mel Gibson character turns out to have engaged in exactly the sort of
bribery of a union official he was accused of.  He certainly does not come
off sympathetically in his scene with the imprisoned official (Dan Hedaya);
in fact, our sympathies in this scene are with Hedaya's character, who has
suffered a lot because of his complicity while Gibson's has not.  The
Gibson character is targeted  for ransom demands by Gary Sinise's crooked
cop in part because he got away with corrupt practices.  One could also
argue that the Gibson character's own corruption and ruthlessness permit
him to understand the kidnapper and to risk the apparent gamble with his
son's life he makes in refusing to pay the ransom.
 
--Richard J. Leskosky
 
 
Richard J. Leskosky                        office phone: (217) 244-2704
Assistant Director                             FAX: (217) 244-2223
Unit for Cinema Studies                   University of Illinois
2117 Foreign Languages Building   707 S. Mathews Avenue
                                                         Urbana, Illinois
61801
 
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Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite 
http://www.sa.ua.edu/screensite