16. 25th Hour (2002)

Don’t do drugs kids

Directed by: Spike Lee
Written by: David Benioff, based on his novel
Starring: Edward Norton, Barry Pepper, Phillip Seymour Hoffman

What are friends for

Lives can take the most unexpected turns, and movies often turn the consequences of such life-changing choices into the most compelling and intensely dramatic ways- WHEN portrayed with creative and interesting perspectives. Spike Lee’s 25th Hour circles around Monty Brogan (Norton) – a deep-down good guy who  is about to face seven years hard time for drug dealing, leaving behind a loyal girlfriend, friends from his childhood he should have gotten to know better, and a loving father. How did things get so bad?
While the whole ‘drugs fuck up your life’ message is one that has been explored time and time again in movies, 25th Hour looks at it with a truly thought-provoking manner that leaves a pretty heavy and strong impression with the audience. Using the devastating aftermath of 9/11, and through the problems faced by Monty’s two best friends, Jacob (Hoffman) and Frank (Pepper),  25th Hour ducks into every nook and cranny of New York life, whilst still managing to say something about the universality of fear, regret, temptation and redemption.
This multilayered story is then given something extra with Lee’s visionary direction and editing. The techniques used throughout the film not only seem to compliment the intended effect of feeling Monty’s deep-seated guilt and anguish, but also serves to draw the viewer’s attention to the sense of disconnection and discomfort that comes with someone trying to quickly mend things, having come to the realization that they have caused their own demise.
It’s a no-brainer. Don’t do drugs kids. And Spike Lee’s 25th Hour is an original and intellectually exciting film.

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