Paparazzi

Not Recommended. Rising action star’s new fame turns to horror when a pack of paparazzi try to destroy his life through pictures in Tabloids. This is a morally bankrupt film of vigilante violence. One good thing is that it poignantly depicts the moral depravity of paparazzi photo journalism with its complete disregard for the privacy and humanity of its victims. It shows the complete and utter distortion of the truth, heck destruction of the truth, engaged in by these kind of people, including artificially creating false stories through image placement and interpretation as well as actual “photo creation,” using pieces of images from different photographs to create a lie that looks like it happened. I loved the symbolic analogy of the hero’s car crash, to Princess Diana’s own death as the paparazzi get pictures of seriously wounded people rather than helping them. The fact is, these people are responsible for the destruction of lives they prey upon. The main villain Paparazzi’ rationalization rings hollow: “Everyone wants steak, but no one wants to date the butcher.” In a real sense, this is a truthful indictment of the public’s shameful insatiable addiction to this stuff. But it rings hollow in light of the journalist’s own personal responsibility. SO would they provide children to the child molester if it paid well? Interestingly, the creation of false stories is yet another consequence of a postmodern culture that denies onjective or absolute truth in favor of one’s own “created truth.” Ideas do have consequences. No doubt, this hateful contempt for paparazzi journalism is what drew superstar icon Mel Gibson to produce it. Ah, these poor demigod celebrities who live off their fans’ idol worship and then accuse those same fans of idolatry. But on the other hand, the story answers this Michael Moore Nazi style journalism with an equally hateful vigilante violence. It is one thing for the hero to protect himself, but it is quite another for him to murder, plant criminal evidence and plot the deaths of these miscreants, no matter how heartless they may be. When the hero tries to help the first paparazzi in a road accident, and decides to release the man to his death instead, the movie was over for me. The hero became a villain who murdered, not in self defense, but in revenge. Then the hero sets up another paparazzi to be accidentally shot dead by the cops. What they should have done is have the hero try to save the first guy, and fail to do so. This keeps him sympathetic. But then when the other paparazzi find out, they falsely assume the hero killed him and THEY up the stakes by trying to kill him or something. This would have placed the hero in the position of self defense. But instead we get vigilante violence, and another murder by baseball bat by this evil hero. Taking the law into one’s own hands rather than due process of law (Romans 13). Vigilante violence, no matter how psychologically satisfying it may be in the short run, is nevertheless immoral and requires redemption itself. Instead, what we have is Dennis Farin playing a bad impersonation of Columbo as a detective who knowingly allows the hero to murder and plant evidence and never takes him down. Yes, the hero uses the paparazzi’s own lies and deception against them, but I’m sorry, Mel, immoral irresponsibility does NOT justify murder. And this, coming from a man who just made the most important movie about Jesus, the ultimate sufferer of injustice, who did not open his mouth or raise a hand in vigilante violence. This Paparazzi movie, driven by and affirming hatred made by a man who made a movie about Jesus who said hatred was murder in the heart. It appears Mel has not been as affected by his own savior. I love you, Mel, but you need to repent from this.

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