Wednesday, April 21, 2010

[Movie Review] Midnight Express. English and Turkish. 1978.

I just lived a life and a half behind walls. My soul churned away from the body and gasped for matter. I checked my toes when oozing blood split his nails. I screamed and cursed when he found the other end of the tunnel stoned.

Be warned: it will make you feel helpless. And hopeless. You may not like the freedom you enjoy anymore. Or perhaps you will cherish it as a gift: each day, every day.

"Midnight Express" is not a common tale of heroism and Hollywood stunts. Neither is it about a new age youth that believed more in freedom from responsibility than freedom of the ideals. It starts from a quick adventurous act, but slowly starts to taint your values and respect for humanity. In a way it's a good lesson for those who think the world is their playground just because they were fortunate enough to be born to luxury and vanity.

What starts as apathy for a stupid act soon becomes a battle for human rights and freedom. This movie reminds you that you really cannot get away with any wrong deed. More in some places than others, but you will pay the price. Although in all fairness, Brad Davis was exquisite in his portrayal of the strong will and courage of Billy Hayes (did I mention it is based on a true story?:-).

I rate this move 4.8/5.0. It's pungent. But it's a bomb at that.

Here's a picture of the real Billy Hayes, the day he arrived in the U.S. on Oct 24, 1975 via Greece. It gives an eerie feeling looking through his eyes, esp after you have just seen the movie.

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