Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Smiles and Cries

Training Day was a film about choices. Now that may not sound like much on the surface, after all, what story isnt about choices?
But from the very beginning of Alonso's training program, with the pipe, we see moment after moment of the consequences of their choices. In the car, with the pipe, after Alonso hold a gun to jakes head and he smokes it; Alonso still hold Jake reposonible for smoking it, "your an adult, stand up for your desicions". It seems to the viewers that Jake is put in no choice situations, but again and agian he goes along with it, he wants to make detective. He puts up some resistanece, but it takes a shotgun to his head in a bathtub to scare him straight.
Jake says that on the streets people only have their "smiles and cries", that in the end, that is all they can control. That line applies to more than just one's attitudes, a person is responsible for any and all actions they make. After robbing and killing Roger, Jake asks "so, we had badges so it makes it different?". Alonso thinks that police can do whatever they want and can get away with, he uses his badge for money and power. The opposing character is Jake, the nice, all-american highschool football player white boy who talks of true justice, ethics and "making a difference". He is a stark contrast to Alonso, going out of his way to try and reach out to people, he is the one we see trying to bond with the children in the film, setting him up as almost too pure.

We here people say that Alonso use to be idealistic like Jake, but somehwere along the line he changed. He made the choices which lead him to be as dirty as he was, he was corrupted by the power. Perhaps we can still catch glimpses of that good person, when he served that false warrant, the woman yelled at them about being drunk, "you had to get liqoured up to do your buisness here!" Does alonso drink on the job and do drugs to repress the ugliness he does? I dont believe so, but even if he did, he is not a hero here, he is a monster. A person's true self comes out through fire, and alonso put himself in league with King Kong, a monster, even better than him.
Something interesting I noticed about that, he used and carried his pistols differently than anyone else we have seen. They seemed heavy iin his hands, he was always overemphasizing them to people, rubbing them together, or clacking them. The way he liked to clack them together across his chest at times reminded me of the way King Kong would beat his chest in reposonse to other monsters, challanging them and showing all around that he was the strongest. Just somehting I found interesting.


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