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Author Topic: Noodles' motive for raping Deborah  (Read 29751 times)
Poggle
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« on: July 05, 2005, 09:31:44 PM »

I was wondering what everyone's personal impression of Noodles' raping of Deborah was all about? I think that the "He was cold hearted and horny" is just an easy motive to think up, but because Leone put such an emphasis on that scene I think it goes deeper.

I think that Noodles never had a bond or connection with anyone like he did Deborah, except for Max, but Deborah filled the female void of his life, and because of his jail time he was deprived of her more than anything else, hence his talking about it with her on the beach preceding the rape. His love and attachment for + his deprivation of Deborah is expressed in that scene, then his eventual fear of losing Deborah also precedes the rape.
I think his being with Deborah probably changed his view on his lifestyle as a thug and maybe he was going to give up his life for her, except his close bond with Max would keep him in N.Y., otherwise why else wouldn't he have gone with her? When he found out she was going far away from him, the deprivation of her for all those years in prison, his reluctance to leave to be with her in California(For Max), plus the fact that he had a desire to be closer to her and feels he could only have his chance at that moment were his reasons.

I think that his desire to be that close to her, mixed with the feelings of deprivation and fear of loss was the biggest reason, otherwise he probably would've waited until marriage or when she was willing. When he had sex and "raped" Gail it was out of lust, but he desired to have that closeness with someone that he loved.

I think that's a big insight to Noodles in OUATIA. His connection and love for Deborah was what saved him from always living a life of crime. He was striving to live for something, and that's what the others didn't have(Otherwise they wouldn't have risked their lives for wealth), hence their disintegration.
Since Deborah was pure, that's why she didn't age to Noodles' eyes, and that attachment is why Noodles, Max, and Fat Moe were still alive but old. They had burdens, but they all had bonds to eachother in relation to Deborah. Fat Moe to Noodles and Deborah, Noodles to Deborah(And to Max had he known he was still alive), and Max to Noodles and Deborah.

Deborah is the key to it all! Shocked That's actually the running theme of the whole OUAT... trilogy, especially with that whole water theme being feminine and killing off the men, the woman in this one is almost the entire opposite.

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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2005, 04:35:27 PM »

I love the way you put it... but to me it's as simple as he has always yearned for deborah's love and when he knew he couldn't have it, he sort of lost his mind for a moment, and once she kissed him it was over... I believe that if she hadn't kissed him he wouldn't have done it, not an excuse or saying it's her fault cause it isn't, but i think the innocent kiss is what sent noodles from going insane with desire on the inside and knowing she was leaving his life forever, into taking what he knew he could never get any other way... I think the kiss turned noodle's desires or fantasies into realities or actions...

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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2005, 08:23:55 AM »

that's a good explanation, personally I didn' have a problem with the rape scene, I know a lot of people do but I understood Noodle's motive andwhile that doesn't excuse his actions in any way, it helps explain it and this is a key scene in the film it's not just put in willynilly.

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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2005, 11:04:07 AM »

I can't help feeling that Noodles is much more Deborah's victim than the other way round. Deborah wants him to change his lifestyle but basically never thought for a minute about changing her own for his sake.  She views him more as a toy than as a life companion. The fact that she becomes Max's lover in spite of her knowing what kind of bastard he is tells the whole story about her personality.     
In the rape scene,  she starts kissing Noodles as a lover while bidding him goodbye at the same time: poor blob Noodles thinks that she is asking him, an a confuse way, to help her change her mind by possessing her: I have the definite impression that  the "rape" starts as an amorous play. and then, when she definitely makes up her mind about going her own way, Noodles is gone too far ahead to go back.

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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2005, 11:38:11 PM »

I have the definite impression that  the "rape" starts as an amorous play. and then, when she definitely makes up her mind about going her own way, Noodles is gone too far ahead to go back.

I agree, I always saw the raping scene by this point of view. Not like he was her victim, but like their relationship was something that could be beautiful but went wrong. The raping scene, the way I see it, is like a metaphor of their lives - a kinda rude one, admittedly, but still moving and strong. i think the scene, albeit violent, is very touching, and Noodles seems to be in pain while doing it to Deborah, like he was giving up on something really important but there was no turning back.

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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2005, 06:19:22 PM »

I find this one of the most difficult things to watch that Leone ever shot. It seems to go on forever. Then it stops for a moment and starts all over again. Its horrendous. The fact too that it takes place just before the interval in theatrical screenings leaves you staggering out of the cinema thinking "Bloody hell!"

It is though, the pivitol moment in the movie. Both characters have assumptions about the other which are purely delusional. Noodles assumes that Deborah has waited for him and he merely needs to put on a flashy show and she will be his girl, give up all her years of training and ambition.

Deborah has always realised that Noodles will chose Max over her since their childhood ("Your mother's caling."), but imagines that he is still the boy she could wrap around her little finger, rather than the ex-con and brutal criminal he has become.

When Noodles realises she is choosing Hollywood rather than him, he destroys their relationship forever by brutally raping her. By doing this he also violently asserts his choice (yet again) of Max and the life of crime over her. Ironically, (and Leone is great with irony), by doing so, he plunges himself into a drug induced bender of remorse. During this opium spree, behind his back, Max realises he can no longer rely on Noodles as he seems to have chosen love for Deborah over him, and begins to plot his downfall with the Italian mob. In the rape scene, in this one moment, Noodles ruins his life forever.

Deborah and Max are actually made for one another, and it come as no surprise (although it is one of cinema's most breathtaking ones) that they end up together. They are both ruthlessly ambitious, both in love with Noodles, both wary of his lack of drive, and both are jealous that he seems to have chosen them, one above the other throughout the film. Its Noodles great tragedy that he realises none of this until he walks through the stage door and meets Secretary Baily's son, who is called David too.

« Last Edit: July 09, 2005, 07:03:22 PM by Juan Miranda » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2005, 09:22:21 PM »

Quote
Deborah has always realised that Noodles will chose Max over her since their childhood ("Your mother's caling."), but imagines that he is still the boy she could wrap around her little finger, rather than the ex-con and brutal criminal he has become.

What's also interesting is how Max felt the same way about Noodles and Deborah both during the "Your mother's calling you" scene and after the rape.

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