Scarface

Scarface ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

"I work hard for this, you know."
"It's too bad, somebody should've given it to you. You'd be a nicer person."

A man is forced out of his home country and ushered into America. He didn't like his home country anyway, where he was a political prisoner; America has more freedom, America has an enticing promise of the freedom to dream. America is a country built on the ideal by which equality of opportunity is available to any American, allowing the highest aspirations and goals to be achieved. This man has lofty aspirations and high goals, and he plans to exploit this system to reach them.

But that's the issue with the American Dream: the level of success one reaches is dependent on the hunger, desire, ambition of each individual pursuing it. Instead of subverting it or pointing out its prejudices, Scarface takes this to the absolute extreme. Sure, the promise is true, the harder you work the more you receive; but is that a good thing? The more he gets, the worse off everyone is - including himself. He has riches and fancy possessions and large properties, but he is consumed by the very hunger that allowed him to get there, a hunger that he cannot subside. He is irritable, angry, unhappy. So he keeps eating and eating, and when there's no more enemies he continues to eat off his friends' plates. His friends don't like this, and fight to protect their plates. The dream is true, the promise is real, but a system that rewards ambition cannot handle an ambition too great, and his hunger ends up causing him to consume from his own plate until there is nothing left. Even before he loses his life, he has lost everything. That is the true tragedy of the American Dream: even the absolute extreme case of it working - what should be the best case scenario - is just a path to self-destruction.

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