Analysis essay of the film "Falling Down".

Essay by xmiss905College, UndergraduateA, November 2003

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The film Falling Down is about a man named Bill that loses control of his anger and frustration when confronted with typical everyday stress. He has reached his breaking point and loses his cool as well as his sense of self. The movie demonstrates examples of both cultural and social issues. Cultural issues explored by this movie are the existence of subcultures and countercultures in city life. The movie takes place in Los Angeles, California that is largely populated by Mexicans and Oriental migrants. The protagonist, played by Michael Douglas, encounters and oriental man that owns a local mini mart and two Mexican gang members. The oriental man represents the subculture and the gang members represent the counterculture. The social issues are reflected through gender relations, racial relations, and anomie, as well as traffic and violence. This film has great emphasis on the social aspect. The film places these factors in the context of a social setting with cultural influences.

Social stratification plays a minor role in this movie. The only valid example of it is in the scenes involving the police officers. There is a rank system within the field of police work and the particular ranks are respected. Gender roles play a somewhat larger role within the context of the main character. There is a moderate amount of interaction between the protagonist and his ex-wife. However, the communications between them is brief and tense. The ex-wife fears him because of his uncontrollable temper. Bill, however, speaks to her under the disillusion that they are still a family.

Race and ethnicity are important facets of the story line. The first meeting is between the protagonist and the oriental man that owns the local mini mart. After abandoning his car in a traffic jam. Bill goes to the payphone to...