Siding with Murderous Bank Robbers

        In the last film of the semester, we got to see a little bit of American history romanticized Hollywood style. In Arthur Penn's Bonnie & Clyde (1967) we got to see first hand how a movie director can make you believe anything they want you to, even side with murderous bank robbers.

        The story begins when Bonnie (Fay Dunaway) meets Clyde (Warren Beatty). He is trying to steal her mom's car. Bonnie is immediately drawn to him, and they run away from their lives of monotony and poverty. I do not really think they started off meaning to rob banks. I think more than anything they wanted to impress people, to be known for something and not die as nobodies. They are portrayed as regular people you can relate to, except for their movie star looks and clothes of course. Even when they are spattered with blood and covered in dirt they look more like Barbie and Ken rather than criminals on the run.

        The saddest thing about the movie is that they knew their fate all along. They knew their fun and their lives would eventually have to end, and they would never get a chance to settle down and be left alone. But maybe even that was better than being young and rebellious during the depression. It was better than going back to prison or working as a waitress.

        The villain in this film was not the criminals, but rather the police, and the banks that foreclosed on honest people's property. It reminded me a little of the movie The Devil's Rejects, directed in 2003 by Rob Zombie. This movie is a lot more sick and twisted but has the same idea. Even though the characters are horrible killers with no conscience whatsoever, they are still a family who love each other. At the end, they drive into a police ambush where their lives end Bonnie and Clyde style, but not before they take out as many police as they can. I believe this ending was an homage to Bonnie and Clyde.

Samantha Bottoms

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