Brooklyn’s Finest

Matt and I watched a movie called Brooklyn’s Finest this weekend, and I was really impacted by one short scene that I’ve now been thinking about for days. The movie tells the stories of 3 Brooklyn cops and the circumstances that lead to them all crossing paths at a spectacularly violent crime scene, and early in the film one of the cops goes to confession. He is a practicing Catholic, but it is clear through the movie that he is really struggling with his faith. He wants to believe, but he is incredibly discouraged and frustrated, and it seems that every solution he tries ends in failure. In the confessional he tells his priest that he has done something bad, but it was to a really bad person. When the priest invites him to pray for forgiveness, this cop snarls, “I don’t want God’s forgiveness, I want his help!”

I wonder if this line resonates with me so much because it reflects the frustration so many people feel with the Church. I’m pretty sure I’ve been in this place too, although I wouldn’t have articulated it so neatly. It’s interesting with this character though, because in some ways you can argue that he stubbornly refuses to be helped, that his perspective causes him to feel victimized rather than hold onto hope.

If only this film wasn’t so intense, so gritty (it earns its R rating on all fronts), and over two hours long I would watch it again and (possibly) write up a character analysis of this Catholic cop just to process it better (you know you’ve been out of school for long enough when…). I think the harshness and length of the movie allow the story to get so deep though, and each of the main characters could be really examined and dissected to appreciate the movie even more.

One day maybe I will, but for now that’s all I’ve got, just that desperate phrase circling in my mind and all this cloud of thoughts around it. (If you’ve seen the movie, would you let me know so we can get together and talk about it for five hours? Thanks.)

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Jon 03-04-2015, 17:52

I watched it today for the 2nd (3rd?) time. It’s a mediocre film with characters & situations that are very compelling – I’m still turning them over in my head. Would love to chat if you have the time.

alyssa 10-04-2015, 21:13

I haven’t watched it since this post, but it still resonates with me. What strikes you the most?


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