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Serpico - Essay Example

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Serpico, the movie, portrays the real life struggle of an honest New York City cop against a corrupt system. The movie is based on the law and order within the police force back in the 1970s. The movie begins where the NYPD detective Frank Serpico, played by Al Pacino, dazed and covered in blood from a gunshot wound is being raced to a hospital, slumped on the back seat of a police car…
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Serpico
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Download file to see previous pages Fresh-faced and eager Serpico is ready for his first day on the beat where he is paired with an older, more experienced officer. On the very beginning, Serpico observes how the older man steps into a neighborhood coffee shop and gets the two of them fed for free. Even though he knows this is petty crime, he is somewhat troubled and is determined to set things right. As time passes, Serpico starts working as an under-cover cop, dressed in plain clothes, sporting a beard and love beads. His duty is to bust all sorts of criminals but unlike others from the department, Serpico cannot be bribed and nor can his honesty be bought and thus, they genuinely ostracize him. Serpico is generally happy though, with lots of friends outside the force, girlfriends and everything is just fine except for the impounding irritation he feels associated with the police corruption. He is determined to do something about it and along with a colleague from his early days, officer Bob Blair, Serpico sets out to put things right. He tries raising the problem of corruption with those in authority but all goes in vain, until he meets a reporter from New York Times, who helps put light on the scenario. Serpico is further alienated, while some peers turn against him. The authorities try their best to keep the matter internal and all Serpico can do is apply for transfers, until his dream of becoming a detective is fulfilled. He receives the final blow when, after being transferred to the narcotics, he is shot in the face, the reason being reluctance from his partners' side to come and save him. When he recovers from the injury, he resigns from the NYPD and immigrates to Switzerland. Serpico, in the movie, breaks the 'code of silence.' The blue code of silence is an unwritten oath amongst police officers in the United States not to report on another colleague's misconduct or crimes. Serpico goes against the system by reporting the flaws in the police department and breaks the code. The intensity of breaking the code of silence is understood when the entire department turns against Serpico. Crime always starts at a small scale and if it is ignored, it is injected in the system as a slow poison, infecting the system and yet, at the same time, making people either ignorant or too lazy to make amendments. They do not realize it and corruption becomes a part of the system, almost impossible to separate. In such a situation, when a person talks about righteousness, truth and honesty, and rejects the idea of being a part of the corruption, the code of silence, a promise to withhold what is believed, is broken. Serpico is complete alienated because when he speaks against the system, he is opposing everyone he works with. Since everyone else has either joined hands with the misconduct and crimes, or is ignoring its existence, Serpico happens to be the only one supporting the cause. The nature of the code of silence was such that none had spoken against the department before Serpico, and what he did to bring out in the spotlight the amount of errors the officers were making, was ground-shaking for the authorities. However, once that Serpico had chosen to fight for what he believed in, it was vital to get those in more superior positions to take action against it so as to not let his efforts go futile. But the authorities want to hush him down, so that word does not get out, the unspoken truth ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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