11.07.2019 in Review

The Basketball Film Essay Sample

What is the main idea behind involvement in drugs?

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This question lingers profoundly in your mind as you watch the movie ‘the basketball diaries’. You can’t help but to wonder how drug addiction and peer pressure ruin promising talents.

Director Scott Kalvert creates a touching and realistic story of Jim Caroll (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), a high school teen from New York City, who is endowed with basketball artistry. He displays a strong range of talent and envy form his peers is vividly evident.

As a part of a seemingly strong high school squad of basketball, Jim’s life points around the basketball field and that becomes a symbol for the humanity in his mind. One of his best friends dying of leukemia and coach (“Swifty”) who takes liberties that are not acceptable with the boys on his group, teenage sexual torment, and an appetite for the illegal drug heroin all begin to infringe on the young Jim’s vision of becoming a star in basketball.

Later, the dim streets of NY become a sanctuary from his mum’s mounting worry for her son. He can’t report home and the only escape that he has from the street’s realty is heroin for which he robs, prostitutes himself and steals. Only with the assistance of Reggie, an elder neighborhood buddy with whom he took a game with now and then, is he in a position to start the long way back to good sense, which eventually ends with Jim’s confinement in a state penal colony. After time in the hospital, he moves out and sometimes later does a presentation about his life when he was under influence of drugs, but before he did that he turned down some free drugs that he was given by his friend, Pedro.

Jim carol future spells doom when he gets addicted from glue sniffing to heroin. He and his friends get into gang fights, stealing things in their spare time, and his life starts deteriorating slowly by slowly . Jim realizes his dreams of becoming a star in basketball have gone to the dogs, when he sees a neighborhood kid that he used to play with that decided to stay straight makes it to college ball. All goes wrong when his mother kicks him out and damp, dark, dirty streets of New York becomes his ruining dens where he indulges in prostitution, loses friends, begs for money and getting into physical fights. Eventually, an ex drug addict who is reformed and now a preacher saves him from the streets by taking him in.

The movie is a fascinating powerful flowing story about drug addiction and the negative consequences it has on one’s dreams. The film also gets a look of the chilly, dark, dirty streets of New York, bringing in the true feel for the ambiance and the scum that surrounds life of Jim and of his acquaintances.

The film is also enriched with relevant soundtrack which lends itself to the enraged tone of the film. The film’s soundtrack mainly consists of 1980s music. I feel this film should have set in in 1980s rather than in ‘90s as is the case. It would have thoroughly explored these themes of drug addiction and peer pressure when they were at their heights. However, I cannot ignore the cautionary drug measure it highlighted in the mid 1990s.  Based on the diaries by writer Jim Carroll, for several years the film was in the making. It would have been released in the late 1980s had it not been for the mixed views which delayed the release.

Excellent supporting performances by the cast team and original songs which were performed by Jim Carroll’s band fine-tune the whole episode. The unforgettable is the song ‘These Are All The People Who Have Died’ which is a tribute to fallen friends of Jim throughout his life.

Eventually, Jim is able to begin the long walk towards sanity, through Reggie an old neighborhood friend. He seems cured and redeemed because he now writes poetry. However, it’s hard to believe that someone can go through so much ruin and come out triumphant in the end.

After the year 1997 Heath School shooting, disbarred and activist lawyer Thompson brought the Basket ball movie into a 33 million dollars lawsuit in the year 1999 asserting that the movie’s plot, (beside two web pornography sites, a number of computer game organizations and makers and supplies of the year 1994 film “Natural Born killers”) made the 14-year-old Carneal to shoot the members of a prayer team. This case was released in the year 2001.

In the very same year the movie became involved in the moral panic that was realized after the massacre of the Columbine High School and the shooting of Heath High School when they were related to a desire series in which character DiCaprio wears a dark trench coat and goes on shooting six members of his class.

As I conclude, one particular scene depicts so clearly that, drugs is no good for prudence and dignity to a right-thinking member of the society. This is the ‘bathroom stall scene’. Though the scene is a bit explicit as many viewers have argued, it nonetheless communicates the message that drugs are evil. Prostitution is also depicted as an anti-social involvement which should not even come near our vocabularies.

Finally, the film excellently covers what is in the book and at the end of the day, readers of the book and viewers of the film go home equally informed about negative effects of drug addiction, peer pressure and their sister sin, prostitution.

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