The process of viewing movies at my current age, 22, is vastly different then when compared to my childhood days. In youth, children watch movies for entertainment and for looking at their favourite cartoon character on the television as opposed to analysing the themes or the main essence of the story. Nowadays, I have matured enough to understand the concept and learning lessons depicted within a movie. I view and analyse movies with a critical perspective for not only entertainment’s sake but also for hidden messages and life learning aspects of certain movies. In this paper I will talk about my own perspective on viewing the movie ‘Aladdin’ and how the hidden messages in the movie become more relevant to my own life as I go through it in detail.
Viewing the movie ’Aladdin’ with a critical lens about punishment diverted my attention to the normalization of deviant actions. In this movie, it can be seen that Aladdin gets away with stealing even though it shows that he does it for the purpose of survival. It is also shown as a game. The action of stealing is shown in a positive light, it is surrounded with singing, dancing and laughter. Since the movie shows stealing as not a serious offence, children grow up thinking that it is okay to act this way and that they should not be punished for it. Despite, being raised in Russia, a country that has had significant problems of corruption, I grew up in a family that taught me that it was not acceptable . Corruption impacts all aspects of administration in Russia: governmental and non-governmental. It is strongly shown throughout the Russian history and is attributed to the general weakness of the law within. Basically, over the years, the government has made the concept of corruption normalized.
That’s why in the movie ‘Aladdin’, normalization of deviance stood out to me the most.In lecture 2, we watched John Oliver’s video from his show “Last week tonight” where he talks about how society normalized the topic of violence in prisons through television. He talks about that nowadays we have so many shows that make prison world a joke, one of the common jokes that people make is about rape in prison referring to it as “dropping the soap”. Even though it is a horrifying experience, we learn from a young age that it is okay to laugh about it and through that we normalized rape in general. In the reading “‘National Security’ and Violence at the Border: Militarized Border Rape at the US- Mexico Border” the author, Sylvanna Falcon, discusses the issue of the fact that rape is consistently used by the state in the process of the strengthening of the territory of the United States at the US- Mexico border and they do not get punished for it, because it is being justified as something they have to do in order to reinforce the rules . Therefore, this is another example of normalization of deviance.