For Reel

American Gangster (2007)
May 27, 2011, 9:10 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Ridley Scott

The character of Frank Lucas, played by Denzel Washington, is suggested to be a blue-collar family man. Shortly after first hitting it big in the world of drug trafficking, his response is to purchase a mansion to house his extended family, perhaps in an effort to exert his dominance as a patriarch. Though not without it’s faults, this particular interpretation of the gangster myth seems inspiringly conceived – whereas the classic gangsters, as well as later incarnations such as Tony Montana of Scarface, pride themselves on personal, individualistic power, Lucas is a gangster who seems to pervert the idea of what it is to be a man and, more specifically, a father. His juxtaposition with Richie Roberts, played by Russell Crowe as an absent father whose obsession with work has led him to temporarily abandon his family, creates an interesting dichotomy that questions their comparative morality.

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