Destroying Stereotypes in “Harold and Kumar go to White Castle”
“Harold and Kumar go to White Castle” is a film unlike any I’ve ever seen. Not because it involved to successful “pot heads”, not because it their journey to a White Castle restaurant took an entire night to get to (although that is part of it), or even because it starred Neil Patrick Harris as a complete drug addict looking for the next party. It was because it starred two stars--previously only known for portraying characters based on their ethnicity-- in the leading role. Actors John Cho and Kal Penn had their biggest acting breaks before “Harold and Kumar” as “that Asian guy from American Pie” and “that Indian guy from Van Wilder”, where they both played the “typical Asian/ Indian” stereotype. Writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg wrote Harold and Kumar to be your typical everyday kind of guy, excluding of course the fact that they smoke a lot of pot. While Hurwitz and Schlossberg managed to make them seem normal, or as some may call it white washed, they still address the stereotypes that revolve around being Asian and Indian and turn those stereotypes into jokes. This is what really sets “Harold and Kumar” apart not just from “Stoner films” or the entire Comedy genre, but from every film ever made. Casting two “minorities” in the leading roles.
The opening scene involves two “higher ups”, who we assume are Harold’s bosses, at an accounting firm who are trying to get out of doing their work for a night out. They pass the work on to our unsuspecting Harold, who reluctantly accepts the new task load because his job was threatened. This opening scene sets up Harold’s personal problems that at the end of the movie, he over comes. This scene cuts between multiple shots of Harold’s bosses standing over Harold, and Harold looking up at them. They loom over Harold, looking down on him as a...