Features of perception drug propaganda by the «Savages» (2012) movie

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Better not to watch

The movie «Savages» was directed in 2012 by Oliver Stone which was awarded three Oscars and stars Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Demian Bichir, Benicio del Toro, Salma Hayek, John Travolta, and Emile Hirsch. The box office earnings were twice more than estimated budget. There were mostly discussions about the changing of directorial style of the world famous film director. It seems quite ordinary for movies now. However, this movie might have destructive concepts which were mined really densely. This is the review of «Savages» according to traditional family values.

The «Savages» plot:

Chon and Ben are best friends. They have absolutely different personalities, but have a house in Laguna Beach, California and a marijuana growing business. They are also both in a relationship with Ophelia “O” Sage. Their comfortable life changes when the Mexican Baja Cartel demands a partnership in their business. Chon and Ben refuse the deal and the leader of the cartel Elena sends her right-arm in America, Lado, to abduct O to press the American drug dealers but Ben and Chon opposed more aggressively than Mexicans had expected…

Why a lot of people saw «Savages»?

  • There was a lot of advertising in the media, in morning and evening TV shows with announcements of movie premiere, the film’s new trailer, photos on the covers of glossy magazines, street banners and posters.
  • Famous people were giving positive reviews to this movie. So phrases like “Favorite series from known humorist”, “favorite band from well-known politician,” “favorite film of the Queen” work better than any advertisements.
  • Articles in well-known magazines. Product-placement articles appeared in Internet almost an hour after the first premiere and the debates in comment sections were huge.
  • “Cinematographic events” status is the name of a special technique that is being used with a large advertising budget. This happens quite often. Spectators are told by mass-media that it is impossible not to see the next part of “the famous saga”, a remake of an acclaimed film, a modern adaptation of a classic, “the controversial film adaptation” from “scandalous novel”.
  • The movie was made by a well-known director and many famous Hollywood actors star in it.

features of perception drug propaganda by the savages 2012 movie 2 Features of perception drug propaganda by the «Savages» (2012) movie

The movie «Wall Street» by Oliver Stone is known by everybody. This is a very good film in it’s own philosophy and morality. Also «Look Who’s Talking» with John Travolta and «The Age of Adaline» with Blake Lively – are great movies for all times. It is hard to believe the fact that well-known Hollywood actors like Travolta and Lively decided to be filmed in «Savages». How is it possible that the «Oscar-winning» director who created great movies about hard choices between honor and wealth could have relations with the «Savages» movie?

There is a strong feeling at the first glance of the cast, that «Savages» cannot be so bad. It is a tragedy that has some deep meaning. Otherwise so many great actors would not have been filmed… Unfortunately it is the wrong conclusion made by millions of spectators.

The well-known actor or actress gets a lot of money to be filmed. Unfortunately only few people working in film industry understand the influence of movies on the education of humanity. 

For instance, Tom Hanks is «mister-good-guy» in Hollywood and never acts villainous roles or Shirley Temple is the most famous child star and preserves the purity of her characters’ images because she was never dissipated or undressed on the screen.

Oliver Stone was absolutely sure about the superiority of the movie’s gross over the book’s in the interviews. It is noteworthy that the book was issued in circulation for the first time with the support fact that it’s being the scenario for Stone. The book became bestseller which supposedly proved its relevance and quality, but in fact, it was just a well thought out advertising course.

The same happened with “Twilight” by Stephanie Meyer or “50 shades of gray” by EL James. It is hard to call coincidence. If you have unlimited funds for advertising budget, actor and director are just puppets, which are unable and often even don’t have the desire to make sure their movies are good.

So, why it is so bad?

The movie is about good young drug dealers and love triangles that don’t have any limits in decency. If you read the official media reception you will see that nobody tries to find cognitive information there.

1) The horns of a dilemma

The movie grabs viewers’ attention from the very first seconds. Startup screens of unthinkable cruel Mexicans torturing victims in the dark cellars in contrast with the pure and beautiful nature’s shots. The image of lovely young girl and female voice-over telling about death, produces an intrigue, inciting the viewers’ interest to keep watching. They promote it as a tragedy with some special spirit.

It is obvious «who is who» after 40 minutes in the movie: Ben is a nerd, helping African kids and delivering the best dope to all coastal pharmacies as the great painkiller.  Ophelia’s voice-over proudly tells that this «painkiller» has been tried by many clients, which is proved by the scene with the smiling old man near the pharmacy.

In contrast there are villains-Mexicans carrying out violent and brutal massacres on their foes and their families, ravishing and killing innocent women, severing the heads from the necks in the dark and scary basements. Then comes the protagonists-traffickers scenes. They are full of bright colors, pleasant music and smiles. O is given the “true love” and true friendship from Ben and Chon, which she also calls some kind of love, but without sexual connotation.

features of perception drug propaganda by the savages 2012 movie 3 Features of perception drug propaganda by the «Savages» (2012) movie

Once monsters-Mexicans see O, Ben and Chon having a walk, they call the couple «Savages». This scene brings an awry smile. Indeed, Mexicans are shown as real monsters and wanton addicts as good, beautiful, loving each other, having Buddhist principles and helping around the world! So who are the”savages ?!”

It seems not important for the film director that protagonists are perverts, creating a dope that cripples the body and soul of many people. In fact, the trio is as an infection of the society, as Mexicans, just with a slightly different and nicer appearance but with the same poor form of conduct.

2) The Overton’s Hole

Ophelia smokes some stuff which she calls «dope» in the first ten minutes. Then, on the 40th minute, O, Ben and Chon start to smoke the «dope» again. They were watched by Mexicans, so this was obviously the last quiet evening for them. This scene was missing even the most harmless side effect of the «light dope» consuming, not to mention the more serious problems, like insane laugh, inadequate behavior, clumsy gestures, loss of self-control or unbearable hunger.

features of perception drug propaganda by the savages 2012 movie 4 Features of perception drug propaganda by the «Savages» (2012) movie

This scene is not seemed as something disgusting for the viewers.  On the contrary there is a feeling of calm and some comfort. The entire movie instills the idea to  the people that the image of drug is something positive. It produces  money for charity, relieves pain from old men and gives the last moments of peace before the war.

The same happens with the idea of sexual perversion which is shown as true love. This two hour movie could suspend this idea into the viewers mind from category «never» to «maybe».

3)  A Shepherding Wolf

The protagonists-traffickers are battling with the villains-Mexicans the whole movie.  The movie grows sympathy for O, Ben and Chon with the help of music, exterior sets and scales of colors in scenes.

For example, the main antagonist of the film, Elena, is brunette, but O is blonde. Villains are shown against the background of dirty houses, empty deserts, dark cellars, somber clothes, or violent colors. The protagonists are always shown against the background of pristine nature, the sea, palm trees and sun. They wear bright, colorful clothes.

features of perception drug propaganda by the savages 2012 movie 5 Features of perception drug propaganda by the «Savages» (2012) movie

The viewer could see the death of every character at the end of the movie. Ophelia, Chon and Ben passed away by taking the same poison. However, this is followed by an ingenious “classic” directorial move: the viewers who already lost in their thoughts, are awaken by O’s voice-over: “That’s the way I imagined it. But the truth has a mind of its own. What really happened was more of a fuck-up than a shoot-out. And gave us all a second chance.”

After that, the movie is rewound back, and there is the sweetest happy end you can imagine: not even a single shot or drop of blood. There is the pathetic cavalry and charming cheerful Travolta. The villains went to jail, innocent daughter Elena is free. O, Ben and Chon are assigned to be the anonymous communicant of the corrupted FBI agent who is being promoted later.  They went to the island with bags full of money.

There were all the tricks and turns of the film director to bring on the positive feelings associated with the protagonists and to have a fellow feeling for them. Everybody who is going to watch the movie, may have the risk to «swallow the pill in the sweet shell with the poison inside».

features of perception drug propaganda by the savages 2012 movie 6 Features of perception drug propaganda by the «Savages» (2012) movie

The title is the only truth of the whole film. All characters are really savages according to their lifestyle.

In conclusion

  • A lot of famous actors and the well-known film director say absolutely nothing about the artistic merits of the film. As we have seen in the movie “Savages”, the director makes movies only for commercial interest. Robert Zemeckis directed “Mars Attacks” after the movie “Forrest Gump”, which could be considered as a genius’ joke, if this hadn’t turned out into such a sad trend.
  • Any kind of information impacts adults’. Overton’s Hole applies more and more in life. Skillfully directors and their assistants can “crack” any conscious human program.
  • Cinematography becomes worse and worse not in special effects, but in the very meaning of movies. One of the world’s proletariat leader described the cinematography as the most important of the work of art, but it is important to remember that he also said:  «it works while the people are ignorant.” Due to its ability to influence the relaxed consciousness of the viewer, hypnotized by picture and sound. So if you have access to the media, it can systematically administer any, even the worst idea in the mass consciousness. Cinematography is a weapon in the informational war, which is used now to promote various perversions, drug abuse, dishonesty or outright evil. All this is happening consistently, systematically and very carefully. To protect yourself from all this information it is necessary to follow some rules.

A word of advice

  1. Put TV away from home. The television today is the main tool for governing public opinion through the annoying messages of movies, similar TV series with stale plots or TV shows. The most effective way to protect you and your family members’ minds is to put TV away from home or leave it as a monitor for the DVD.
  2. Do not believe any of the advertisements. The movie should be carefully analyzed even if it was made by a great movie director. Methods of forming the ratings are quite peculiar now. For instance the 6+ movie could be too violent for six-year-old children.
  3. Analyze any media product interrupting its broadcast. There are a lot of people studying for many years. Then several hundreds of people work together spending enormous financial and time resources, using the latest scientific and technological achievements. They do all but the impossible just to ensure that you will not interrupt the movie’s broadcast. An editor, make-up artists, actors, cameramen, sound engineers have the same goal: to catch the viewer’s eye to a frame, noise and music. As a result the viewer “swallows” completely the film. So your consciousness is not able to sort out all bad massages over a two hour movie. 

features of perception drug propaganda by the savages 2012 movie 7 Features of perception drug propaganda by the «Savages» (2012) movie

So do what the creators are afraid, is put a pause and try to analyze the movie in terms of morality, in terms of norms and laws given by the parents, the concepts of honor and kindness. Set a timer for every twenty minutes or half an hour, and put a pause in the movie, think about what you have been taught by the characters. Ask yourself how do they organize their lives as they achieve their goals? What would you have done, being in their place, and whether you would even be in their place? It is good to do the same discussions with family and friends.

 Elizabeth Krasnova

Translated by Elena Symeonidou

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