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: romantic vs realist  ( 2750 )
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I'm a llama!

« : June 04, 2005, 03:47:44 AM »

Watching OUATIA again, I was struck by a minor theme that Leone seems to develop about the contrast between cold-hearted realists and those who are more romantic.

Noodles seems like a romantic - he loves and yearns for Deborah, loves 'the stink of the streets' and values his friendship with Max above everything. He ends up lonely, betrayed and broken. By contrast, Deborah and Max are both ruthless pragmatists, ready to sell out any ideals (or anyone) they may have, to, in Deborahs words, 'get to where I'm going'. Deborah and Max climb to the top of their respective worlds whereas Noodles and Fat Mo end up destitute - in fact, Noodles observes that Deborah and Max are both alike. Also, they end up together.

In the scene where Noodles gets out of prison and sees Deborah at the speakeasy, Fat Mo dims the lights and strikes up the band to play a romantic tune - he knows how much Noodles loves his sister and seems to want to see them get together. 'Your brother's a real friend', observes Noodles,  to which Deborah says, to my mind, quite contemptuously, 'he's a romantic', as though this is a naive thing for someone to be - in her world (and in Max's world) being a romantic is a sure fire way to finish last. Maybe this is why Noodles and Fat Mo, both romantics, are, in their declining years, in such a sad, dismal state.

I wonder if this was a comment by Leone on the fact that those who are dreamers, or romantics, will finish last simply because they lack the ruthlessness to do what has to be done in order to get 'to the top'.

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Ever the facetious one

« #1 : June 04, 2005, 12:09:23 PM »

I'm not really in the mood to write loads on it right now, but I think if anything Noodles is the realist and Max is the romantic... Max runs wild with his dreams of riches, while Noodles is always wanting to bring him down to earth.

It's class.
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Posts: 261

I've been to Sugar Town and I shook the sugar down

« #2 : June 21, 2005, 02:18:28 AM »

Max is a true mob tycoon and certainly no romantic. He betrays his friends, and getting into politics is what seems cynically apt for him in order to control his business.

His wild dreams of robbing the bank is just a trap set up to betray Noodles, who thinks that he himself is the betrayer. As we have discussed elsewhere on this board:

Noodles at least tries to stay true to a few values and to a better side of himself - when he is stirring his cup of coffee for what seems like an eternity, you can really feel how he think it's all going to hell.

And he blew it all himself by not being able to control his darker side - raping Deborah. Noodles is struggling with himself, Max doesn't need to - he's stone cold. To Noodles, the best thing that could happen would be to go back to childhood with Max and live the day-to-day life of the streets. Naivistic-Romantic as hell.

Alan Shearer 9
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« #3 : June 30, 2005, 03:00:02 PM »

It could be read as Leone commenting on capatilism too

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