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A Bronx Tale

A story of honor and loyalty
A+Bronx+Tale

“Is it better to be loved or feared?”

This famous line from the classic film, A Bronx Tale, shows how the main character is torn between his father’s honest lifestyle and his mentor’s mobster way of living. 

Directed by Robert De Niro, and starring De Niro, Chazz Palminteri, and Lillo Brancato Jr., A Bronx Tale is a captivating journey of friendship, family, and the complexities of life in 1960s New York. The film follows a young boy named Calogero, or “C,” as he navigates the blurred lines between right and wrong.

Central to the film are the relationships between Calogero and characters like his father Lorenzo, a principled bus driver who values honesty and hard work, and Sonny, the local mobster who takes Calogero under his wing. The dynamic between these three characters illustrates the struggle between conflicting moral beliefs and the impact of loyalty on personal choices. 

One of the most important scenes in the movie is when Calogero tells his father, “Sonny was right. The working man IS a sucker, dad. He’s a sucker.” This leads to his father delivering this important message: “It doesn’t take much strength to pull a trigger. But try getting up every morning, day after day, and working for a living. Let’s see him try that. Then we’ll see who the real tough guy is.” 

With these words, Lorenzo shows that real strength isn’t just about the power that comes from intimidation and violence. It’s about the grind, the hustle, and the resilience of the everyday person. 

It’s about knowing you won’t be as fortunate as the people that live around you, but still you should still choose the honest and humble lifestyle, because you’ll want to give your family a normal future. Lorenzo’s words remind us that true toughness comes from within, from the hard work and determination that define us.

One of the interesting things about A Bronx Tale is how real the characters feel. From Calogero’s struggles with who he is, to Sonny’s complicated personality, each person in the movie seems like someone you could meet in real life. You’ll really get into their stories, feeling for them when they’re going through tough times and wondering why they make the choices they do.

The movie does an awesome job of showing what life was like in the Bronx back in the 1960s. With the tight-knit Italian-American community and the presence of organized crime, the film captures the atmosphere of the era and the challenges faced by individuals trying to navigate their way through it. You’ll feel like you’re right there, familiarizing yourself with the culture, and you’ll  fall in love with the music and the fashion. It’s like taking a trip back in time.

But A Bronx Tale isn’t just about the mafia and how exciting it is; it also has deep meanings behind it that will stay with you. As you watch, you’ll pick up on important lessons about sticking by your friends and family, and thinking about the consequences of what you do. These are things that everyone, no matter how old you are, can learn from and think about long after the movie is over.

The film delivers a share of sadness, especially in the strained relationship between Calogero and his father. Despite Lorenzo’s love and efforts to teach him right from wrong, Calogero feels drawn to Sonny’s glamorous lifestyle. This divide between father and son shows how tough family dynamics can be.

As Calogero gets closer to Sonny, he starts to distance himself from his father’s values. This shift is a big part of Calogero’s growth in the movie. He’s learning to make his own choices, even if they mean going against what his father believes.

But as the story unfolds, Calogero starts to see his father in a new light. He realizes the strength and goodness in Lorenzo’s character. This journey teaches him about loyalty, honor, and the bond between father and son. It’s an experience that many teens can relate to, as they figure out who they want to be.

And while many viewers may believe that Sonny is the villain in this film, he isn’t entirely a negative influence on Calogero. He treats the boys like a son and teaches him life lessons about the values of respect and loyalty, like a father. Similarly, Lorenzo provides him with love and teaches him about hard work and integrity. In the end, Calogero learns from both father figures, drawing upon their teachings to forge his own path.

Since it first came out in 1993, A Bronx Tale has become a favorite for many, known for its exciting story and memorable characters. It has left a big mark on pop culture, inspiring a musical and influencing other movies that explore similar ideas about who we are, what’s right and wrong, and chasing after our dreams.

As Calogero learns from both his father and Sonny, he discovers the importance of integrity and honor. The film’s purpose is to remind us of the bonds of family and the journey to self-discovery. So I highly recommend watching this movie, and you should also check out some similar ones, like The Godfather and The Outsiders.

About the Contributor
Emma Torosyan
Emma Torosyan, Staff Writer
Emma is a freshman at Glendale High School. She likes to read, write, listen to music and watch rom-coms. She plays volleyball all year round and skis during the winter.
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