PLAY vs FILM - ESSAY
When a fictitious text is composed, it is ultimately a contextual reflection on the cultural, historical and social conventions of its time. David Williamson’s play ‘The Removalists’ (1971) and Antoine Fuqua’s 2001 film ‘Training Day’ both explore the abuse of authority, but both texts do so in very different ways. First and foremost, the composers of each text want the audience to consider the corruption that occurs in authority, particularly within the police force. In ‘The Removalists’, the aged, experienced policeman, Simmonds, is obviously corrupt. It is clear from the beginning of the play that Simmonds only takes an interest in others when he feels that he will benefit from them in some way. When sisters Kate and Fiona approach the policemen for their help, Simmonds only agrees to assist them as he believes that it will lead to the women having sex with him, as suggested by his comment to Ross, “we’ll be in like Flynn.” Similarly, in ‘Training Day’, experienced narcotics officer, Alonzo Harris, only takes action and helps others when he wants something in return. At the beginning of the film, Harris and his rookie officer Hoyt, drive past an alley where a teenage girl is being physically assaulted by two men. While Hoyt throws the men to the ground and wants to arrest them, Harris stands aside and lets them go. He sees no benefit to himself in doing what is morally right. However, later on in the film, Harris supplies food and money to three men in order to have Hoyt killed. Both experienced policemen in these texts are also manipulative. In ‘Training Day’, Simmonds is insistent on finding out what Ross’s father does for a living. Ross does not want to tell Simmonds; “It’s none of your business”, but after Simmonds manipulates Ross, “How do you expect me to help you when I know nothing about you?” Ross is forced to tell Simmonds against his wishes. The same goes for ‘Training Day’. When Harris tries to persuade Hoyt to smoke cannabis,...
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