Magazine article New Internationalist

Falling Down

Magazine article New Internationalist

Falling Down

Article excerpt

Falling Down follows the fraying of a white - collar man as the American Dream is unravelled for him. In one of his most intense performances yet, Michael Douglas plays an aggrieved former defence worker who goes AWOL one blistering June day. Abandoning his traffic - jammed car, he treks across a worn - down and smog - wan LA in search of his estranged wife and child, causing mayhem on the way.

Despised by some critics in the US who view it as nothing more than a flashily directed vigilante movie, Falling Down is actually far more complicated -- a picaresque tale richly littered with conflicting allusions.

The scenes most often cited follow Douglas -- nicknamed 'D - Fens' after his license plate -- as he trespasses into South Central and confronts first a Korean store owner, then some gang members. It is here that D - Fens' racism is most apparent -- 'Speak English' is his battle cry. These are uncomfortable moments that give the film its nervy edge. But as his quest goes on it becomes clear that D - Fens' targets are much more diverse. …

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