Carlitos Way

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade August 2001

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

Carlito's Way Charlie Brigante, a convicted felon, was unjustly sent to prison for 5 years by illegal actions of the FBI and is released with the help of his lawyer friend David Kleinfeld. Back on the streets, Charlie makes a commitment to himself to stay clean of his past ways of being the "JP Morgan of the smack business". With the FBI watching him closely, Charlie runs a club in the hopes of making enough money to move to "paradise" and rent cars with a friend he met in prison. Getting closer to his dream, his old girlfriend becomes part of his life again and with a child on the way, they plan to go way together. His past will not let go as Charlie does a favor for Kleinfeld that turns into his biggest mistake. Carlito tries to set everything right with his enemies but in the end, his legitimate ways get the best of him.

He is killed by the one he set free.

Carlito's Way is an extremely unique movie in regards to its use of time. In the beginning of the movie, Charlie is shown on a stretcher being rushed to the hospital. This takes place in the present and as the movie continues with Charlie getting released from prison, everything from this point on is actually a flashback. This is not known until the end of the movie when the last scene is exactly the beginning scene. This movie is very unique in the fact that you unconsciously know the end of the movie from the beginning, but you don't actually realize this fact until the end.

The opening scene of Carlito's Way is filmed in black-and-white. This establishes a setting that is unparallel to the rest of the movie. It serves as a device to help viewers bring attention to the scene and to remember it until the end of the movie when both the beginning and end scenes connect. Furthermore, the scene deliberately shows a close-up of a bearded Carlito Brigante as mystery man shoots him and as this happens, he begins with a mental monologue that forms the movie's running narrative. The close up of his face again brings attention to the scene at large and at the end, viewers are reminded of the beginning scene by the same close up in addition to a very similar ending mental monologue. This creates cohesiveness and clarity. The camera angles in the beginning scene are very unique. The camera is used to film what Carlito is seeing being laid out on a stretcher. The viewer sees lights at a vertical angle and as the camera slowly rotates horizontally, you see Gail crying right in front of Carlito from his perspective. This establishes the various degrees of space in relation to Carlito. The camera is also used very innovatively in the chase scenes where a steadicam is used. This heightens whatever tension is present and really makes the movie that much more intense.