Not Again

My title reflects the best summary of my thoughts over the last 15 hours or so. Although, I’m not at fault. I should be able to go to the movies and not leave traumatized by what I’ve seen; but I can’t.

Since my last movie review post (if you missed it, click here: ), I’ve stayed away from the theater. I love film, always have, and to be deprived of that privilege really tears me up. I’m on a tight budget so I don’t get a chance to go out much, which is okay. Every now and then I need to leave my writer’s cave :). I’m sure that you guys can see why I’d be upset that a night out turned into a post-traumatic stress anxiety attack.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t get offended easily. I also avoid movies that may or do contain content that will upset me . . . obviously. However, no matter how much I try to prepare myself ahead of time, there’s never a 100% guarantee that stuff won’t pop up anyway. Here’s your *Spoiler Alert* but I think you should read this post.

The first of two movies I’m sharing my review for today: The Lone Ranger. Oh, Disney, you’ve been pushing the boundaries for a long time. I looked forward to watching Johnny Depp in the role of Tonto. This is the film synopsis on IMDB: “Native American warrior Tonto recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid, a man of the law, into a legend of justice.” I did not think that this movie would send chills up my spine. The one female lead, Rebecca Reid, is trapped inside a barn by some cowboys. One in particular though it would be fun to make her change out of her dress, and when she refused, he goes for her legs. Thankfully, Tonto saves the day. What really got me was that with all of the cowboys who died in the movie, that particular one does not suffer any consequences. I mean, COME ON! On top of that, one of the American hot-shot politician bad guy hit Rebecca (I can’t remember how many times) in front of her son and he was violent toward the youngster as well. The movie was full of violence, so those two scenes were NOT necessary, and they ruined the film. What also kills me is that many people may think “Oh, it’s Johnny Depp and Disney, this should be a safe one for the kids to watch . . .” Um, how about no.

The Lone Ranger probably won’t be a “blockbuster” hit or a classic, but that doesn’t matter and I wish I could have gotten my money back. Anyway, I will move on to the next film: The Family. Now, I need to briefly explain why I wanted to see this one. I am part Italian and my maiden name is very Italian, and I like movies about Italians. Yeah, sometimes some of the stereotypes bother me, but stereotypes are everywhere . . . I don’t want to spend my life being offended about everything. Also, I am fascinated by organized crime. Why? Maybe because of the organized crime class I took in college and learned about RICO laws, or maybe because some of my ancestors were directly involved with the Mafia. I’m not entirely sure, but The Godfather and Part II, (but according to my dad, not Part III) are two of my favorite movies.

Of course I don’t believe that violence solves our problems, and I do not encourage bullying (I hoped that I would not have to say that but with the way our culture is now, I have to.) I  also anticipate profanity and violence in a movie about organized crime. I was excited to see the movie. Here’s the synopsis also from IMDB: “The Manzoni family, a notorious mafia clan, is relocated to Normandy, France under the witness protection program, where fitting in soon becomes challenging as their old habits die hard.”

Up until the second half of the movie, I was enjoying it. If you’re offended by profanity, this isn’t the movie for you. Although it was not as bad as some others that have come out lately. It’s worse than My Cousin Vinny, but not as bad as Hot Fuzz or The World’s End. The first thing that bothered me: the teenage daughter getting hit on by high school nerds who were obviously checking out her body, and convinced her to go to a lake with them. The “leader” of the group thinks that he can get some and brushes her straps off of her left shoulder. She gets an object out of his car and beats him with it. Of course, that made me feel better . . . but then the other things that happened in the movie don’t make sense.

The scene of her having sex with her crush/boyfriend who had been tutoring her bugged me. After a discussion with her mom who said that the “first-time” did not have to be a big deal, her daughter disagreed claiming that she wanted it to be special, but her mom’s advise convinced her to just go for it. Afterward, he tells her he’s continuing with his career/school plans that took him to Paris and wasn’t interested in a relationship. She is so crushed, instead of taking revenge that you’d anticipate from growing up in the Mafia, she calls him while she’s standing up on the roof near his family’s house. Of course she’s upset, and rightfully so, but to go to the extreme of wanting to jump off of a building? Seriously? What is that going to teach our impressionable youth??? The potential influence of this movie on teenage girls scares me. Thankfully, she sees her family’s enemy driving around and that stops her.

There’s a showdown, and because the father betrayed the rest of his family by turning them into the FBI. The Mafia carefully plans their retaliation and everyone gets ready for a showdown. One of the members, Bernie, kills the FBI agents protecting the mom who is cowering in a corner. I assumed that he was going to shoot her. When he didn’t, I couldn’t figure out why he was saying “this will hurt less if you don’t move. I’m sorry, but I have to do this,” and she says “I understand, I know the rules.” I’m still wondering what they’re talking about. Until I hear him unbuckle his belt – that sound alone tortures me. I look away from the screen and I hear his pants fall to the floor. My heart is racing, and he is reluctant to hurt her, but he’s going to do it anyway. Then finally, her husband/the dad finds them and he takes the belt to choke him out. Their fight is pretty serious, but she gets away. I’m having a hard time remembering what happened after that . . . I did remember last night as these scenes replayed over and over in my mind until I wanted to scream in agony. The ending was decent though. I don’t blame the people behind this movie too much, as I know that rape was probably not uncommon. However, I didn’t expect to see the disgusting implication. Not that I’m an expert in all Mafia movies, but I expected the violence to be similar to The Godfather. Pardon me for believing otherwise.

I was crying before we even left the theater because my anxiety was becoming a full blown attack. I was already upset, but what happened near the end sent me way over the edge. On the drive home all I could think about was the movie, my friend’s case, and about what happened to me. (My story is interwoven throughout Rage.) The thought I couldn’t shake was: “no matter how much time has passed, those triggers bring the horrible memories back as though they happened yesterday. God, thanks for healing me, but I have to deal with this for the rest of my life.” Last night was the first time in a while that I realized that those triggers, no matter how hard I try to avoid them, won’t all go away. The second I let my guard down and fall back into living normally, I am traumatized!” It’s a bit ridiculous. I will have to avoid certain T.V. shows and movies to protect myself from further trauma. I will have to keep my mouth shut when people make jokes about rape or use the word so casually.

But, in a strange way, I’m grateful for these movies and shows. I want to take a stand against them. I want to turn my books into movies someday, in the very near future, and show people the truth!

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