"Do the Right Thing"

Essay by Juggley October 2006

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Spike Lee directed and starred in this film. He played the main character Mooky. Whether Mooky really is the main character is disputed, but the city as a whole is definitely the main personality of the film. This film was shot on location in a rough part of New York where violence and arguments are strangers to no one. This film does a great job of displaying racial tensions in the 1980's and inner city life. Racism made for a difficult life for many.

The beginning of the film is of girls dancing, which goes on for several minutes. This is a satirical reference to another movie of the time, "Flash Dance." The film from there goes to the "Cool-out Corner" with the radio DJ Mister Senor Love Daddy played by Samuel L. Jackson. This DJ pops in and out of the movie informing the audience mainly of the temperature and constantly reminding us how HOT it is out.

The heat is a main part of the movie and the thought that heat makes people crazy.

The city and tensions therein build up throughout the movie, whether it is Buggin' Out trying to get blacks up on the wall in the pizzeria or Radio Raheem getting everyone riled up with his boom box. All this tension could be blamed on the heat. A plot outline for the film read, "On a hot day on a New York City street, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence."

The climax of the movie is when Buggin' Out gets Radio Raheem to try and start a boycott with him of Sal's pizzeria. The go over to Sal's around midnight as he is trying to close down for the night. They get in and Radio Raheem puts his radio...