Wednesday, June 12, 2013
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Yes, My husband and I are from Alabama, and no, we have not read the book. The first thing that struck me was the narrator speaking about how hot it was there. She also said that there was nothing to buy and no money to buy it with. There's not much to do there. This is all true. That's why we had to pack up and find work elsewhere.
However, she said they were also told they had nothing to fear but fear itself. Really? They were actually told these words? Highly doubt it since she said in the beginning of the movie that it was 1932 and FDR never said this speech until March 1933. I HATE when people don't pay attention to details.
Times have changed in Alabama, especially in the cities and college towns. After we left college, we moved into a small town of 5000 people, and it was very similar to the town in this movie. Well, not artificial, and clean. There seems to be a lack of broken lawnmowers and junk in this movie. The attitude in Maycomb is very believable. In fact, if it were colorized and set today, it could easily take place in our real-life small town and it would have been the exact same. No one would have noticed that it was an old movie.
And what's with them calling their father "Atticus"? It is very disrespectful to call someone by their first name unless you know them very well. A child would never call any adult by their first name. If it's a relative, it's always Aunt so-and-so, never just the name. And when an adult insists on being called by their first name, we had to add Mr. or Miss onto it (doesn't matter if they're married or not). And this is present day. I can only imagine children in the 30's were more polite. But obviously not.
Let's talk about Atticus, or as he should be known as, "pompous father who thinks he is better than everyone else". He constantly wears his three piece suit everywhere and all day. It's always very clean, in contrast to the ignorant farmers who are always dirty. Oh, because we owned a farm, that makes us dirty. It's called taking showers, asshole filmmakers. Also clearly no one in the costume department has ever been to Alabama, because if it's August, ain't nobody wearing a heavy warm suit all day long. I understand wearing them in the courtroom, but not all day even at home. This, along with his glasses, seems just to be a gimmick to further separate him from the lower-class individuals. He is the only person in town that wears glasses, because if you wear glasses it means you're smart. This is why no one else wears them, because he is clearly the smartest one of all.
Also, I'm not too sure about his accent. He definitely doesn't have an Alabama accent. He doesn't seem to have any kind of accent at all. Everyone else has some kind of Southern accent except him. Is he afraid that if he sounds Southern he won't sound as educated? That's what Stephen Colbert does and I feel sorry he feels like he needs to do this. My husband and I went to college in Alabama, got great jobs in our majors, and we will not tone down our accents one bit.
In the courtroom Atticus asks the witness if he can read or write. This is a legit question to ask in a small town in Alabama seeing how none of my in-laws can. Atticus proves that the victim's injuries were done by a left-handed person. Then, he launches into a fucking ten minute long speech with the word "negro" stuffed in 50 times hoping to sway the jury. It wasn't even a good speech. Then the jury comes back with a guilty verdict, and I'm like, ha ha ha, your lame speech didn't change anything. What a loser.
When Atticus comes back to the house, he says that Tom escaped during transport to another town. The deputy said he "shot at him to wound him and missed his aim and killed him". Of course Atticus believes him. I cannot believe how incredibly naive this guy is. Or that he thinks an appeal will help. It can take years to file an appeal. His stupid speech didn't work the first time; what makes him think it will work again? Then when his children are attacked by Bob and saved by Boo Radley, the first thing he talks about are how he can defend against Bob's murder in court. He at first thinks that his son did it. Yeah, like a tiny twelve year old (that is the smallest twelve year old I've ever seen) with a broken arm can kill a man. The sheriff points out that Boo did it to save them and he won't let him be arrested because putting someone like that through the court process "would be a sin". He just wanted to spare Boo from Atticus's terrible defending. So, by not arresting him and allowing Atticus to defend him, the sheriff saved Boo's life. So we know who the real heroes are in this movie. I'm giving this movie a 5/10.