The film “Colors” can be best described as a reality movie that elaborates to its true sense, the other side of life dominated by gangs in urban areas. The film’s inception is traced to the period 1988 when the famous Dennis Hopper first directed it. Through it, Hopper is giving an account of gangs parading the streets of Los Angeles and making miserable the lives of many people in the city. He is also giving an elaborate analysis of how community and the law enforcers headed by the police intertwine to handle the gang menace. What looks interesting and somewhat ironical is the fact that despite numerous instances of the gang and terror activities, the producer finds sympathy for the gangs instead of being remorseful and concerned about the plight of the victims.
The police force charged with quelling and restoring order in Los Angeles is represented by two major characters; ‘Pac man’ played by Sean Penn who is a rookie in the force; Robert Duvall the old guard veteran. Of crucial concern in the police unit are conflicts or incompatibility in tactics, philosophies, and ideologies among the officers in managing the gang menace. This is the case between Sean and Duvall. Adding more flavor to the film is the part played by Maria Conchita Alonso who portrayed as the love interest for Sean. This is unbelievable but its intention is remarkable as it vehemently give the audience the insiders’ look of gang life from their own personal viewpoint. Lastly in abbreviation is the overall mood of the film that can be characterized as dominated by tensions. This is particularly manifested in darkly lit scenes always accompanied by old music on the background.
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The city of Los Angeles plays a crucial role as the place where the whole filming was done. In fact, its choice by the director was made to have an un-reputable significance in displaying the kind of life happening in leading urban cities of the world. One of the major roles of Los Angeles is that it is a hub of not just one gang or one gang group, but of several criminal groups that stands to have proper organization of their activities. For instance, the two rival gangs in the city have different uniforms and outfits. It is noticed in the early hours of the film when the gangs are jailed and put in a different section of the cell separated by heavy metals; they also wear blue and red rag tags that easily underlines their different identities. Los Angeles is not only considered a city dominated by gangs, but it also seems ripe for criminal groups to propel their activities through powerful organization. Subsequently, through this powerful organization, the gangs are able to conduct successful burial farewells for any of their members and even design T-shirts in their honor. To put more emphasis on the fertility of Los Angeles for gangs towards the end of the film many gangs sprout up, and the police have to change its strategy if it wants to bring a complete halt operation of criminals.
In conclusion, it is factual that Dennis Hopper was the phenomenon in coming up with a film that gives more of reality to what happens in major urban cities. Gang life and activities though cannot be stopped completely; the law enforcement agencies should find impeccable ways of reducing its threats. May be, Dennis Hopper would have hoped for more studies and research that would fundamentally address the root causes of gang life. Therefore, Los Angeles as an example of major urban centers with high growth potential ought to be able to address the crime more effectively than events described in the film.