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Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing” Still Angers, Annoys and Amazes 27 Years Later

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“Do The Right Thing,” a thought-provoking 1989 film created by Spike Lee centers around Brooklyn’s Bed Sty natives as they struggle to overcome various societal prejudices in an attempt to live their lives. This is a film that will garner much debate on who was in the right and who wasn’t. And it’s amazing! Spike Lee gives you slice-of-life scenes on how it feels to live in this time in a hot summer day. You got the kids playing outside, trying to have fun in the heat, the old men gossiping and Sal’s Pizza sitting on the corner while the sun shines on and on. You have Mookie (played by Spike Lee) the pizza delivery boy. Da Mayor, (Ossie Davis) an old guy on the street, giving out words of wisdom. And the conflict, oh the conflict.

This is the epitome of the film. It deals with race relations, the struggles of minorities, and struggles of black people as they each attempt, in their own ways, to right the wrongs dealt to them by themselves, their neighborhoods, and society in general. But what is wrong, exactly, when every player has a high stake in such a dangerous, often destructive game?

DO_THE_RIGHT_THINGThis movie is basically the story of Mookie in his attempt to do what’s right in a situation so racially charged and so hot, hot, hot. This lack of communication and complete misunderstanding (in every sense of the word) holds up even today where race and how race is represented is still a touchy subject.

I guarantee that you yourself will ask if Mookie does the right thing and what the impact of his actions will have on his entire community. This movie is worth watching because it never shies away from the loaded subject matter. It left me feeling so angry and hopeless and annoyed and so, so amazed.

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Because if only, if only, if only! If only the characters had handled this better or went a little easier on that, then maybe he’d still be alive or the other guy would be dead. Maybe Mookie should’ve re-thought that split-second decision. Maybe he shouldn’t have. Maybe there’s no such thing as a Right or Wrong thing. Just go. Watch it right now. I promise you won’t regret this.

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