I’m going to talk about my favourite film. It’s called Dog-day afternoon and is a true story. It happened in Brooklyn in 1792 and covers 12 hours worth of a bank robbery that went very wrong. The focus of the film is the main character Sonny who has organised the robbery. But from the moment they arrive at the bank his plan starts to fall apart. One man backs out at the last minute leaving Sonny and his partner Sal to do it alone.
The 2 of them take control of the bank only to find there is no money left. So they lock the bank workers in the safe room but Sonny makes the mistake of holding them up by letting one of the hostages go to the toilet. Meanwhile 12 different police forces are gathering outside the bank and it all goes downhill from there. The front of the case reads: “The robbery should have taken 10 minutes. 4 hours later the bank was like a circus sideshow.
8 hours later, it was the hottest thing on live TV. 2 hours later it was all history. ” The reason I love this film is because it’s got so many themes and meanings behind it. The main theme is trust. The trust between Sonny and the hostages in the bank, Sonny and the police and Sonny and his 2 wives. Sonny can’t trust anyone, yet he has to trust in the police that they will keep to their word and not try to catch him out even though this is their job and this is how he ends up with a dead partner and a life sentence.
He gains the trust and even friendship of the people in the bank despite the fact that he is the threat and their cooperation keeps him safe. The hostages have to make a decision whether to help the police or Sonny and they choose Sonny. This says a lot about figures of authority. If you can’t trust them who can you trust? All the police want to do is hurt Sonny because they believe what he has done is wrong. This is where he brings up Attica, which was a situation where police shot many innocent people as well as the guilty.
This is represented by a white handkerchief he waved out the door each time he was coming out to talk to the police, this represented peace but eventually this peace sign gets covered in blood from a head injury he receives. It is very clever because the film turns the viewers morals around. You end up hoping this bank robber escapes and you grow to like him. This is partly because the hostages like him, but you also find out that he was robbing the bank for someone else’s benefit. He served the country in Vietnam and as he doesn’t have a Union card so can’t get employed.
Yet he needs to support his wife and 2 kids financially and it is revealed that he is married to a man named Leon who is in a mental institution waiting for a sex change. And this is why he robs the bank because he wants to free Leon from the hospital. This doesn’t justify his acts but the way that the police try to mess with his head and the fact that you see he is a nice guy makes you feel sorry for him, especially as he’s had all this misfortune. Another theme is how flexible peoples loyalty is.
The crowd outside the bank love Sonny as he throws fake money at them but once they find out he is married to a man they start to chant and ridicule him, this says a lot about society and how easily swayed we are. There are a lot more themes and a lot more that happens but I’ve picked out a quote that I think sums up Sonny. “I know you don’t understand the things I said or the things I did but I’m me and I’m different to you” Sonny writes this to his wife as he makes his will and it I think this says a lot about Sonny’s character and the film.