On the Waterfront is the battle between good and evil.” Do you agree?
The film On the Waterfront directed by Elia Kazan depicts the conflict between righteous and evil in 1954. The dock workers live under the fear of Johnny Friendly, the leader of the corrupt mob run union. The antagonist Johnny Friendly requires complete loyalty from not only the longshoremen but also his henchmen, in order to maintain his power in the waterfront community, he does not allow any betrayal or even the idea of trying to testify against the mob run union is restricted. He would even manipulate the weak to do his dirty work. Furthermore, Johnny Friendly thinks that violence is the most important mean for him to reinforce his power over the whole community. Terry Malloy, the protagonist heroic efforts to stand up against the wrong doing of the corrupt union stopped this reign of terror. Terry was manipulated by the union to do their maleficent business. Terry finds himself being used as an ignorant “bum” for evil purposes, but he is not ready or bright enough to break free. When Terry betrays Joey because he broke the union’s code of “D ‘n D”, he is shocked when Joey is killed by the mob. The fact is that Johnny Friendly’s union will kill anybody who tries to Confess to the courts. A woman mourns that the mob killed her ‘Andy five years ago’, proving that this community has lived in fear for years. Likewise, in the early scenes when Joey calls from his window saying “I gotta watch myself “, the audience understands that fear is part of this community. Joey’s fears are immediately confirmed when he is thrown from the roof, and the mobsters joke “he could sing but he couldn’t fly.” At this stage Terry is shocked, confused, and clearly regretting following the instructions of his corrupt friends.Elia Kazan expresses Terry’s feelings by usaning a close up shot. Later Terry admits “It started out as a favour”, but in the early scenes Terry is simply a puppet being played in the hands...
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