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The Film “Boomerang” Analysis Essay

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Updated: Jan 13th, 2022

In the movie “Boomerang”, a serious moral dilemma was presented to District Attorney Henry Harvey. He was to protect the man accused of a cruel murder of a local priest of the Catholic Church. The fault of the man was an ambiguous issue as the evidence were rather contradictory; thus, the prosecutor was to put a lot of work into understanding what happened in this case. In the following paper, the problem shown in the movie “Boomerang” will be analyzed from a Humean perspective and a Kantian perspective. Generally, these different approaches explain the motivation behind Harvey’s acts and vagrant’s deeds in a rather different way and reveal varied important details about the moral issues related to this murder.

Speaking about a Humean perspective of the problem under consideration, it should be, first of all, stated that this murder can be seen as an ambiguous case where Harvey, the main protagonist of the movie, was to put his every ability into practice along with his moral sentiments to exercise his professional duty. As the investigation of this case proceeds the attorney comes to the understanding that the prosecuted is not guilty of this murder. Thus, a moral dilemma is presented before him as from one point of view he is politically and sociologically motivated to put a period to this case, but from the other point of view, he is to exercise justice, first of all. The murdered priest was a popular figure in the area, and, thus, the local society with its highest officials put a lot of pressure on Henry Harvey to end up with this case and to accuse the prosecuted one. Harvey was determined to do so initially; but later, when he discovered numerous pieces of evidence proving the vagrant’s innocence, he began to think about numerous moral questions related to this difficult and ambiguous case. As this conflict develops, the audience sees Harvey conclude that his moral obligation is higher than anything else including the desire of local society to condemn the prosecuted one. A Humean perspective is a system of assumptions, beliefs and conclusions stating that humans’ acts are motivated by more than the mind alone. Rather, a system of difficult rueful feelings and ambiguous emotions stands behind any particular act by the individual. Applying this logic to the issue of the study, it becomes evident that the actions of the attorney narrated in the movie “Boomerang” are caused by a complicated system of motivations including his ethical sentiments and moral concerns. Harvey is a decent representative of his occupation full of ethical thoughts and beliefs motivating him to put his professional duty above everything. Thus, upon discovering serious evidence proving the innocence of an accused vagrant he manages to overcome all the difficulties presented before him by society. He comes to the conclusion that the convicted one should, by all means, be justified and rehabilitated. In this vein, he puts a lot of effort to achieve his high moral duty and manages to do so as the audience sees at the end of the movie. In this case, the Humean idea that morals are the exciting power behind thoughts, words and actions can be seen. All in all, sentimentalism is seen as the most distinctive power motivating the movie’s main protagonist according to a Humean perspective.

Discussing the issue from a Kantian perspective, it should be stated that this theory sees one’s mind and the power of reason as the main motivation behind the person’s actions. The theory states that any human being is to be seen as an individual who is moved to act in a particular way under the pressure of the assemblage of varied exponents and factors related to one’s mind and the power to reason. The ethics of a Kantian perspective is deontological, and it majorly revolves around the idea that duty is much more important than any goals, pursuits, emotions or feelings. According to this way of thinking, some underlying maxim is described as the main moving power for any individual. The moral worth of any particular act is judged according to this maxim. Rationality is seen as the most important factor for making choices and important decisions. In the case of Henry Harvey, this theory can be applied as another explanation behind Harvey’s motivation. Contrary to a Humean perspective, a Kantian one makes to believe that the main protagonist of the movie is inclined to act to protect the prosecuted one from an accusative sentence by the information which he came to face during the investigation. This information including a variety of pieces of evidence and the indications of witnesses made the attorney conquer the power of the opinion existing within the local society that the accused must be condemned.

Concluding on all the information related above, it should be stated that the moral dilemma which was put before the main protagonist of the “Boomerang” movie is rather serious and requires a strong will and power of character to be handled properly. This moral dilemma along with the motivation behind Harvey’s actions can be discussed from two different perspectives: a Humean perspective and a Kantian one. A Humean perspective is a system of assumptions, beliefs and conclusions stating that human acts are motivated by more than the mind alone; rather, a system of difficult rueful feelings and ambiguous emotions stands behind any particular act by the individual. Judging from a point of view of a Humean perspective Harvey is mainly motivated to protest against the common opinion within the local society that the accused one should be punished for the murder by his ethical sentiments and moral duty. Harvey decided to put his professional duty to exercise justice above the desire of local society to punish whatever person possible for the murder of a significant figure to create the impression of a vindication of justice over the cruel murder of a person who is highly valued by the majority of local inhabitants. From a Kantian perspective, the main protagonist is motivated mainly by his mind and the power of reason. Kantian perspective is deontological, and it majorly revolves around the idea that duty is much more important than any goals, pursuits, emotions or feelings. This theory explains the motivating powers behind the acts of the main protagonist as his thinking abilities which enable the attorney to finally understand that the accused is not guilty, Coming to realize this serious idea that the vagrant is not guilty in the death of the priest Harvey wants to promote this idea in every possible way and manages to attain absolvent sentence for the prosecuted one.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "The Film “Boomerang” Analysis." January 13, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-film-boomerang-analysis/.

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