American Gangster

Starring Denzel Washington as Frank Lucas and Russel Crowe as Detective Richie Roberts, directed by Ridley Scott.

Frank Lucas wants progress. He wants to sell a better product at a better price and upset the powers that be by functioning as his own boss. Crime runs rampant in Harlem. Cops and criminals all work for dirty money. Detective Richie Roberts also wants to upset the balance of power by enforcing laws straightforwardly. For example, Richie arrests people who traffic heroine. This does not go over well with either the criminals or the cops who depend on the drug trafficking business to make a living.

Frank says the most important things are: "Honesty, integrity, hard work, family, and never forgetting where you come from." He buys a big house for his mother and puts food on the table for his family. He and his family are happy and secure. But at what cost? His drug trafficking is hurling thousands into a hopeless pit of addiction and poverty.

There is Frank on the receiving end with his perfect family, perfect Thanksgiving and then there is the losing end: a girl slouching in a dirty shower, shooting heroine into her foot; a mother who overdoses with her child still sitting on the same bed...

It seems like the only way to have is by taking from others. But God's economy is different. God's economy depends on God, who is infinite. Whereas men say, "Take from others if want to have something," God says, "Trust me and give, then I will provide for you and you will have something better than you could have ever imagined." We will be successful from God's point when we trust God. Thus, living by faith in God requires more courage than conquering the world on the world's terms.

1 comment:

Stephanie Beasley said...

hey Patrick

Thanks for your comment on our American Gangster review. It was interesting just reading your perspective on the film.

I am amazed how different people can get something completely unique out of a movie - that's the beauty of it, I guess.

Will enjoy re-visiting your site.

Steph