Intense and mind-boggling. A seemingly deserving punishment from a stupid mistake turned out to be violating humanity. Humans weren’t treated equally as humans sometimes. Sometimes they’re benefits and sometimes they’re cannon fodders, or just flickering head counts for the accountants. Why is it so simple for people to lose mercy yet so hard to retain justice and good ethics?
The monologue stuck in me is this:
What is a crime? What is a punishment? It seems to vary from time to time and from place to place. What’s legal today is suddenly illegal tomorrow because some society says it’s so and what’s illegal yesterday is suddenly legal because everybody’s doing it and you can’t put everybody in jail. I’m not saying this is right or wrong. I’m just saying that’s the way it is…And you, I just wish you could be standing where I’m standing right now and feel what that feels like because then you would know something that you don’t know Mr. prosecutor. Mercy! You’d know that the concept of a society is based on the quality of that mercy, its sense of fair play, its sense of justice. The movie passes a sense of magical reality with the downhill scene switching from the airport to the ghettos, and then to the prison, and finally to the psychiatric house. Nothing felt realistic yet everything happened for real. Both the acting and the shooting were blatant and bold to give that realistic and ridiculous feeling such as the brutal fighting between the protagonist Willliam Hayes and his fellow indiscreet prisoner Rifki, whose tongue was biten off by Hayes at the end of the fight, which was quite unexpected and cultish. Besides, you got to see a showcase of environmental homesexuality, the raw sexual desire and psychiatric decomposition from the prolonged detention. The overall atmosphere felt typical of the 1970s.
Lastly, another thing I agree with in the film:
Loneliness is a physical pain.
One last reminder, I watched this film because of Giorgio Moroder and Querelle.