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A Bronx Tale Film Essay

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Submitted By carc219
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Pages 4
Catrina Chandler
English 101
Professor Cogswell
Film Essay A Bronx Tale “A Bronx Tale” is a film about directed by Robert Di Nero about a boy named Calogero an Italian American male, and his life as he grows up in a town occupied by the mob in the 1960’s. Calogero has two strong influences in his life. They are his father Lorenzo a proud middle class bus driver and a mob boss named Sonny. In the film there are three scenes that especially demonstrate the influence Sonny and Lorenzo have on Calogero. An example of Lorenzo’s influence on his son takes place in front of their apartment building in which Calogero witnesses a gruesome crime committed by Sonny. Lorenzo basically instills in Calogero that he needs to lie and say he saw nothing. He is teaching him not to be a rat. When the police later question Calogero and have him look at a line up of suspects he denies knowing all of the men there, including Sonny. An example of Sonny’s influence is when Sonny belittles Mickey Mantle in front of him by saying “Mickey Mantle earns $100,000 a year. How much does your father make? You don’t know? Well, see if your father can’t pay the rent go ask Mickey Mantle and see what he tells you. Mickey Mantle don’t care about you, so why should you care about him? Nobody cares.” This causes Calogero to have negative feelings about Mickey Mantle, someone he had idolized his whole life. Calogero was so influenced by what Sonny had told him that he went home and threw all of his baseball cards away. When his father asked what he was doing, what was the matter with him, Calogero replied “Mickey Mantle ain’t gonna pay the rent. He don’t care about me, why should I care about him? Nobody cares.” An example of how he is influenced by both of these men is when they give him the same advice about dating a “colored girl” which in the 1960’s was completely taboo. Inter racial relationships were harassed and ridiculed. Even though this was how things were in the 1960’s Lorenzo and Sonny both gave Calogero the same piece of advice. He questions both his father and Sonny on his situation, posing a hypothetical case, and although neither bursts into liberal speak about the brotherhood of man, both tell him about the same thing, which is that you have to do what you think is right, or live with the consequences. Early in the movie his father gives him a piece of advice. “Nothing is more tragic than a wasted talent.” Sonny gives him another piece of advice. “Nobody really cares” These pieces of advice seem contradictory but Calogero accepts them both and keeps them close to heart. Though, they leave him fighting for his soul. Calogero says about the advice from these two men “Sonny and my father always said that when I got older I would understand. Well, I finally did. I learned something from these two men. I learned to give love and get love unconditionally. You just have to accept people for what they are, and I learned the greatest gift of all. The saddest thing in life is a wasted talent, and the choices that you make will shape your life forever. But you can ask anybody from my neighborhood, and they’ll tell you this is just another Bronx tale.” “A Bronx Tale” was written for the stage by Chazz Palminteri, who plays Sonny with a calm grace in the film, but was actually Calogero in real life. There have been a lot of movies about neighborhood Mafioso’s, but this film is not like the others. It does not tell some story about how the bus driver and the mobster have to shoot each other or how Calogero is a hostage in a tug of war. It is about two men from the same neighborhood but different experiences in life, who love Calogero and want to do right by him. Calogero loves his father, and loves Sonny like a father but struggles with the advice given to him by both throughout the film. Almost like an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. “A Bronx Tale” is a very funny movie at times and very touching at others. It is filled with life, colorful characters and great lines of dialogue. Robert Di Nero in his debut as a director, finds the right notes as he moves from laughter to anger to tears. What is important about the film is that it is about values and influence. About how some boys grow up into men who can look at themselves in the mirror in the morning, and others just go along with the crowd, forgetting after a while that they ever had a choice.

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