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When civilization gives up its place to savagery. 

Year: 2012 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Oliver Stone 
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively  
An image from Savages

The scene takes place in a heavenly frame on Laguna Beach, California where Ben (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), a peaceful botanist and his friend Chon (Taylor Kitsch), an ex Navy Seal live with their beautiful shared girlfriend, O (Blake Lively). Their gilded life is a result of the lucrative business that Chon and Ben run; a plantation of marijuana. Thanks to the seeds that Chon brought back from his missions in Iraq and to Ben’s genius, they create some of the best weed ever developed. Although officially it’s produced for therapeutic reasons, they manage to deal it everywhere with the assistance of a dirty DEA agent, Denis (John Travolta).

However their idyllic lifestyle comes to an end when their weed instigates the desire of the Mexican cartel of Baja headed by Elena (Salma Hayek). The two friends refuse to collaborate with the cartel, so the cartel kidnaps O to blackmail them. This sparks a war between the drug organization and the trio, and everybody has something to lose.

Oliver Stone’s adaptation of Don Winslow’s novel introduces the viewer to an exciting but dangerous trip within drug trafficking by way of the wonderful Californian landscapes. West America still thrives in the popular imagination as a place where wildness and refinement, law and violence, inferno and Utopia commingle. The story is full of betrayals and bloody reprisals. The love ménage of the three characters is really interesting. Iraq made Chon suspicious and adept when it comes to dealing with trouble but, in the opposite way, Ben is a humanist with a sensitive personality. Ophélia “O” is “the only thing they have in common and they are determined to keep this link.

Priscillia Mudiaki

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Screenings of this film:

2012/2013 Spring Term (35mm)