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Falling Down




Falling Down (1993)

Falling Down is a film about a man (William Foster) who finally snaps, when he cannot bear the perceived injustices of society anymore.

Most of the thoughts on this movie seem to revolve around the racial and societal topics. These have been well documented and don't need me to retread them. I want to spin a different a view, one that is abstract at best.



Michael Douglas's appearance has always been the most striking thing to me about this movie. The flat-top haircut, wire-rimmed glasses, short sleeve button up shirt and tie (before tie bars were cool again), immediately paint him as a man that is out of touch. He is a relic of an era long gone and seems like a square peg the world is trying to force into a round hole. It seems like he is attempting to hold on to something that was near and dear to him.

Towards the later part of the movie, you get a glimpse at William's personal life. His mother, his home, family videos of his own family. All of of a sudden, I became consumed by the idea of what was his father like? I doubt there was any intention of this on Shumacher's part, but my thoughts kept leading me to this man.

I envisioned the stereotypical 50's family with the authoritarian father. Dad brings home the bacon, dad tells mom what to do, father knows best. This was William's strongest influence growing up and would lead to a belief system that would be his undoing.




I see William as a man that envisioned his life turning out like his father's. He had done everything he was brought up to believe and it never materialized. Everything he ever knew had failed him and he finally loses all hope.

Falling Down is possibly Michael Douglas's best performance. I was left believing I had just seen evil incarnate. Whether or not William was born this way or formed by society will keep me guessing.

random bits:

- William at one point is described as being in his thirties. Douglas was born in 1944 and looked every bit of being in his late forties in this film.

- The climatic scene takes place outside of a food hut. The outside is scattered with various postings, of which are a couple of Mc Hammer in all his glory. Scene breaker.