A Clockwork Orange
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is an extremely violent film. Within the first 13 minutes there is a violent beating of a homeless man, an attempted rape, a gang fight, another beating and a rape. Sex and violence are paired. Hope for a "cure" for violence is scuttled. For mature viewers, the messages about violence and cultural decay are present but these may be lost amidst the sensationalism on younger viewers.
What's the story?
Based on the Anthony Burgess novel, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE tells the tale of Alex (Malcolm McDowell), a young man whose cravings for sex and violence rule almost his every motivation. He and his roving gang of "droogies" fight and rape their way around town beating up hapless strangers or rival gangs. But Alex's droogies aren't that happy with his leadership. They soon ambush Alex and leave him for the police to find after he murders a woman in her home. After two years in prison, Alex is chosen to participate in an experiment to brainwash the violent tendencies out of criminals: He becomes deathly sick and incapacitated anytime he encounters or thinks about violence. The unintended side effect is that he also feels that way when he hears his favorite composer, Ludwig Van Beethoven. The latter is exploited to disastrous ends in a case of political and personal revenge.
Is it any good?
The film itself is solid Kubrick, and any fan of his work would surely not want to miss this one. McDowell pulls out a career making performance as he mugs and leers into the camera, turning from vicious animal to pouty innocent boy at the drop of a hat.
This movie was way ahead of its time.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the nature of violence. Are some people naturally destined to be violent or does it come from experience? Does our current penal system work? Is it ethical to try to brainwash criminals, as they did to Alex? Or are there other means to use psychology that might help?