I’ve just watched this wonderful film again and this time noticed the strong message about the banality of evil and heroism. Numerous times in the story the idea of whether people are good or bad comes up. The premise is that people are just people – they do good and bad things. The circumstances they find themselves in can largely determine their actions, just as Phil Zimbardo talks about.
- Solomon’s son is thrust into a world of anger and violence where he commits horrific acts. We saw in his life before that he loved his family and learning – with no hint of violent habits.
- Solomon acts with heroism throughout the whole film. He is initially shown as a caring and loving father and then a man on a mission to save his family.
- Daniel Archer begins as a man out to make a buck – regardless of the consequences. He makes cynical choices, not afraid to sell out his friends. Howeve, as circumstances change and he is exposed to good people, his choices begin to change. He actually feels for the plight of Solomon and in the end gives up his life to save those of Solomon and his son.
So, people are the sum of their actions. So, heroes are simply the collection of the things they do – small and large. If you have not done anything heroic in your life yet, it doesn’t mean you can’t be a hero. From today on, you can perform the actions that will label you a hero.