(audio different than this written piece, listen to the audio version)
Dr. Ted,
I would like to welcome you to the 21st century. Nazi’s no longer exist, Clint Eastwood is not, as you called it, against the handicapped, and furthermore, “Million Dollar Baby” is not at all remotely comparable to anything similar to Anti-Symantec/assisted suicide promoting propaganda of the Holocaust.
Eastwood’s movie was by no means an outcry to nationally accept euthanasia of assisted suicide, Dr. Ted is reading too far into this idea. For Clint Eastwood’s picture was simply an attempt to bring forth the hardships of life – to show a lonely father who never truly had a chance to watch his daughter grow. His emotionally façade of a rough, tough, one-man show is completely broken down when “Maggie” (Hillary Swank) enters his life – entering the empty spot in his heart. However, as her life is so easily given to him, just as easily it seems to be taken away.
Eastwood means to present the many ethical, moral, and individual moral factors that come into play during the time of loss of a loved one. He presents the conflict of selfishness vs. acceptance through “Frankie’s” ability to see that pulling the plug was better for her – no matter how hard it was for him.
However, I believe this movie may have gotten much different reviews if he had only displayed passive euthanasia. For passive euthanasia was just the act of removing the breathing tube – a form of euthanasia that is openly approved (well not so much approved, but accepted) by even the Roman Catholic Church. Perhaps he Eastwood had not performed active euthanasia as well, his morphine injection would not have caused such an outrage as to call his screenplay a “Million Dollar Euthanasia Move.” I believe this was the main controversial “error” of his film.
Yet ted, you still go onto explain that Eastwood is against handicapped people, stating that his view as portrayed by the movie was that “death is better than disability.” You then went on to display that Eastwood holds a bias against the disabled because he did not provide handicap-accessible restrooms in his Carmel, CA resort; and that his movie was just a “brilliantly executed attach” against those with physical limitations. This “insight” as you may all it (depending on the intelligence that you award this “analysis”) is completely irrelevant. How can anyone take the plot of a movie and compare it to WWII propaganda for the Holocaust.
Drawing conclusions about someone’s personal views from a movie plat is irrational and illogical. Clint Eastwood is not against handicapped people – that is simply how he ended his movie. The characters suffered through loss, and it was the strength and overwhelming love for Maggie that allowed “Frankie” to perform such an act. Yes, to be the Devil’s Advocate, “He could have let her love, he did not kill her out of love. To let her live, that is real love.” This end to the movie was the key into Maggie’s whole being: she had lived life intensely (as Mr. Geib would say) and went down swinging.
For the dramatic effect to have her die was just another part of the script. Hillary Swank’s character was a fighter. She fought into the world, fought her way through it, and just the same literally fought her way out.
So Mr. Ted, the topic of euthanasia is not something that con be nationally accepted, obviously. So how on Earth can you draw the conclusion that “Million Dollar Baby is a New-Nazi movie” simply because the main character died in the end. Does that make Romeo and Juliet a romanticized way out of depression and not a Historical Literary work of gold, simply because they commit suicide? Euthanasia is in perspective, and for this one case, in this one story in Million Dollar Baby, Maggie’s character made her own choice to die. Eastwood himself naturally did not even agree. However, as her persistence continued, he realized it was what she really needed (and truly wanted, proved by the fact that she tried to kill herself already). He is not trying to display that disability is worthless – many people live full lives when physically limited. And no, he is not putting a price or worth factor on life, in this one single case, this very particular story, her wrote into the script that she was to die – besides how would the movie have ended if she stayed alive.
So with that, I am happy to say that I have made it past the dramatized Hollywood effects of ending the movie wither death. I was able to see past the fact that she died for the purpose of an emotional effect, not to spread the propaganda that disabled life is worthless. Lat I checked, when Charleton Heston was the president of the NRA, he did not advocate gang banging and violence because he highly believed in the right to bear arms. Just because Maggie was euthanized does not mean that Eastwood wants to legalize euthanasia for all the depressed handicapped people of the world, and it does not mean that his movie was that of Nazi propaganda. INTELLECTUALLY concluding, Eastwood is not a Nazi, sorry to kill your approach.
But don’t get me wrong Dr. Ted, I have been a practicing Catholic since I was born:] K-8 Catholic school and church every Sunday – I have been brought up with the belief that all life, in ANY form, is precious. I could never in my right mind perform active Euthanasia, and that is a stronghold of mine that will never change.
I agree, “Love should never trump conscience. Murder is not excusable, even when it is art.” Straight from Chicago, “who said murder is not an art.” Even Shakespeare took advantage of the pathos and emotional appeal that was instilled when he used murder/ suicide. Eastwood simply took the same approach, manifesting emotional appeal through Maggie’s death. No, murder is not excusable, but I have been able to bring myself past the fact that it is “just a movie.” I hope you can do the same.
Eastwood is not a Nazi, nor is he “Doctor Death Kevorkian,” so please, live long and prosper, and look past the Hollywood screen.