Entertainment Rating: 4/5After watching the movie we felt like maybe we needed some sort of mental therapy: it was that good of a psychological thriller. The movie did a great job of putting us right in the shoes of Teddy Daniels, we could understand what he went through and why he made the decisions he did (with the exception of a few -possibly key - scenes that were edited out). Violence and language are the main reason for the R rating; so if you can watch it edited, it’s a cool show.
Moral Rating: 2/5The ending line really makes you ponder Teddy’s situation: “Which would be worse, to live as a monster, or to die as a good man?” I think Teddy is beyond being able to forgive himself. Forgiveness for murder is not easy to come by (whether from God or the person that died), considering there is no restitution that can be made. Reflecting on this state of mind could also be dangerous, almost insinuating that death (whether physical or mental) is the best way out of feeling guilt.
It’s hard to construe a whole lot more of a message, I don’t think we got the full impact of the movie since most of his memories were edited out from the version we watched. But even with missing part of the movie, I feel no overwhelming urge to watch it unedited; it was good, but not that good.
On ViolenceSome interesting quotes from the latter part of the film, from a conversation between the warden and Teddy:
Warden: You're as violent as they come. I know. because I'm as violent as they come. Don't embarrass yourself by denying your own blood lust, son. Don't embarrass me. If the constraints of society were removed, and I was all that stood between you and a meal, you'd crack my skull with a rock and eat my meaty parts.
Warden: We wage war, we burn sacrifices we pillage and plunder and treat at the flesh of our brothers and why? Because God gave us violence to wage in his honor.
Teddy Daniels: I thought God gave us moral orders.
Warden: There is no moral orders as pure as this storm. There's no moral order at all. There's just this: can my violence conquer yours?Violence is not sanctioned by God. Perhaps you’d send me to the Old Testament in the Bible and ask, what of the Law of Moses? That law was meant to lead people to Christ. There was no tolerance for sin (which was the reason for the punishments). God has established a higher moral order, almost more of an individual one because our governments are not run by religion (at least in the US) like they were in Moses’s time.
God sanctions discipline. Our life on this earth is a blessing and we are given freedom to act according to the dictates of our conscience, and at the same time we accept eternal responsibility for those actions and will reap what we sow. If that reaping involves “God-sanctioned” violence (death penalty, war, etc.), he will be the ultimate judge. But what of those who kill in the name of Allah? How can we believe any man has the “right” to take the life of another man? The death penalty is sanctioned because the accused are given a trial, a chance to prove they are not guilty, if the evidence is incontrovertible, they receive their just judgement (just insofar as man can be just in his imperfect condition). Their death is meant as an example to other would-be criminals, as well as a safeguard against the accused being released and wreaking havoc on more innocent people.