Serpico

Serpico ★★★½

Youth and idealism go hand-in-hand, and when we're young we're also at our most idealistic. What wonderful schools we'll go to and have the perfect college experience, getting a degree in something that will change the world; what wonderful careers we'll have when we leave the academy and take joy in knowing that we're impacting others. If you're not one of the lucky few who truly finds this miracle experience, this miracle job that lets you have your fulfillment and eat it too, then at some point you get hit over the head with the harsh reality.

Life does not work that way. Life does not simply come to you. There can't be an idealistic way of navigating life when life itself is anything but, and soon we find the flaws and shortcomings inherent in the systems built, systems that encourage our own participation in their exploitations. And this can range from full-blown undertaking to mere passivity (for acknowledgement without rectification is still acceptance of such systems).

At such point it's easy to become discouraged, to realize our efforts must be massive to enact miniscule amounts of change, at which we silently accept this arrangement and lose our sense of idealism. Life is now not about changing the world but merely about surviving in it, for life is cruel and crooked and corrupt when we look too hard into it so many choose not to in order to maintain their sanity.

Serpico is about a man who stares into this abyss and makes this choice not to allow such sin but work towards eradicating it. And as he is a man, only a man, and nothing but a man against a very big void, for all the blood and flesh he pours into his crusade he ultimately accomplishes little systematic change.

Was it worth it? I suppose that's for us to consider.

"The reality is that we do not wash our own laundry - it just gets dirtier."

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