Great Character: Monty Brogan (“25th Hour”)

February 20th, 2015 by

The Great Character theme for the month: Spike Lee. Today: Marty Brogan from the 2002 movie 25th Hour, screenplay by David Benioff based on his novel.

Two brilliant blue beam beacons of hope illuminate the double void where the World Trade Center buildings were sadly snatched from the New York City skyline on September 11th 2001. An operatic anthem ushers in a regal announcement that the “City That Never Sleeps” will remain wide-awake – against all odds. Just 15 months and eight days after this unforgettably tragic atrocity, filmmaker Spike Lee’s 2002 crime drama 25th Hour reaffirms the Big Apple’s remarkable resilience for anyone foolish enough to doubt it. We soon learn that it is Edward Norton’s riches-to-rags Irish New Yorker character Monty Brogan who is also getting his own resilience tested while prepping for his 7-year prison stint during his last free sunrise/sunset cycle.

25TH Hour summary from IMDB:

Cornered by the DEA, convicted New York drug dealer Montgomery Brogan reevaluates his life in the 24 remaining hours before facing a seven-year jail term.

MONTY BROGAN: He’s a good dog, I can see it in his eyes. He’s a tough little bastard, he wasn’t lying down for anybody.

Before we know Monty’s criminal circumstances, we first meet this man as a person who see’s a life worth saving, in the form of an injured, abandoned dog. Giving this four-legged furry friend a second chance at life is similar to what Monty desperately desires from the legal system. But me must appear strong to his red hot ride-or-die girlfriend Naturelle Riviera (Rosario Dawson), his alcoholic bar-owning father James Brogan (Brian Cox), his timid school teacher pal Jacob Elinsky (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and his arrogant bachelor Wall Street buddy Frank Slaughtery (Barry Pepper). Underneath Monty’s shoulder-shrugging snark is an understandably petrified pretty boy seeking internal solidarity while maintaining the facade of false confidence.

Between Monty’s Irish upbringing, his Puerto Rican lady Naturelle, his Jewish man Jacob and his Russian mob drug connections, Monty’s melting pot is preparing to cook him up into a new culture – prison life. Like a welcomed homage to the famous stereotype montage in Spike Lee’s milestone Do the Right Thing, Monty blames every ethnicity that co-exists in his hometown NYC, including the spirit of Jesus Christ himself. But really, his hate actually has courtside seats to watch the man in the mirror beat himself up. Today he may savor the sight of double overtime, but tomorrow equals “game over.”

MONTY BROGAN: Champagne for my real friends, and real pain for my sham friends.

Jacob and Frank were Monty Brogan’s real day-one friends – law-abiding guys that he was raised to become just like. But street life called Monty’s number, he ran into the chaos without looking back, and left a life of safety and security behind. The 25th Hour gives Monty ample playing room to relive the way he wishes his privileged existence had turned out; the Monty Brogan that didn’t have big bricks of narcotics secretly stuffed as couch upholstery.

Fear and paranoia over who exactly was the un-loyal culprit that led the DEA directly to Monty’s illegal drug inventory ruptures Monty’s ability to trust. The morbid mayhem Monty shudders at experiencing in prison when the next morning arrives drinks his blood like a psychological vampire. Options and opportunities for his future shrink with each passing hour as Monty shifts from final celebration mode to urgent survival status.

MONTY BROGAN: I need you to make me ugly.

In a heart-breaking father-son bonding moment, Spike orchestrates an emotionally jolting sequence – Monty’s humble blue collar dad surprisingly advising his son to disappear, reinvent himself and leaves his apocalyptic past at ground zero.

For his sobering search for redemption, his 24-hour attempt to hop out of his missteps, and for his gallant gallops through Gotham with the aftermath of the 9/11 turmoil still closing in all around him – Monty Brogan is an incredible GREAT CHARACTER in Spike Lee’s highly impressive collection.

Thank you, Jason, for this post and the entire month-long series featuring characters from Spike Lee movies.

You may follow Jason on Twitter: @A2Jason.

Daily Dialogue — August 8, 2013

August 8th, 2013 by

“Yeah, fuck you, too. Fuck me? Fuck you, Fuck you and this whole city and everyone in it. Fuck the panhandlers, grubbing for money, and smiling at me behind my back. Fuck the squeegee men dirtying up the clean windshield of my car – get a fucking job! Fuck the Sikhs and the Pakistanis bombing down the avenues in decrepit cabs, curry steaming out their pores stinking up my day. Terrorists in fucking training. SLOW THE FUCK DOWN! Fuck the Chelsea boys with their waxed chests and pumped-up biceps. Going down on each other in my parks and on my piers, jingling their dicks on my Channel 35. Fuck the Korean grocers with their pyramids of overpriced fruit and their tulips and roses wrapped in plastic. Ten years in the country, still no speaky English? Fuck the Russians in Brighton Beach. Mobster thugs sitting in cafés, sipping tea in little glasses, sugar cubes between their teeth. Wheelin’ and dealin’ and schemin’. Go back where you fucking came from! Fuck the black-hatted Chassidim, strolling up and down 47th street in their dirty gabardine with their dandruff. Selling South African apartheid diamonds! Fuck the Wall Street brokers. Self-styled masters of the universe. Michael Douglas, Gordon Gekko wannabe mother fuckers, figuring out new ways to rob hard working people blind. Send those Enron assholes to jail for FUCKING LIFE! You think Bush and Cheney didn’t know about that shit? Give me a fucking break! Tyco! Worldcom! Fuck the Puerto Ricans. Twenty to a car, swelling up the welfare rolls, worst fuckin’ parade in the city. And don’t even get me started on the Dom-in-i-cans, ’cause they make the Puerto Ricans look good. Fuck the Bensonhurst Italians with their pomaded hair, their nylon warm-up suits, their St. Anthony medallions, swinging their Jason Giambi Louisville Slugger baseball bats, trying to audition for “The Sopranos.” Fuck the Upper East Side wives with their Hermès scarves and their fifty-dollar Balducci artichokes. Overfed faces getting pulled and lifted and stretched, all taut and shiny. You’re not fooling anybody, sweetheart! Fuck the uptown brothers. They never pass the ball, they don’t want to play defense, they take five steps on every lay-up to the hoop. And then they want to turn around and blame everything on the white man. Slavery ended one hundred and thirty seven years ago. Move the fuck on! Fuck the corrupt cops with their anus-violating plungers and their 41 shots, standing behind a blue wall of silence. You betray our trust! Fuck the priests who put their hands down some innocent child’s pants. Fuck the church that protects them, delivering us into evil. And while you’re at it, fuck J.C.! He got off easy! A day on the cross, a weekend in hell, and all the hallelujahs of the legioned angels for eternity! Try seven years in fuckin’ Otisville, J.! Fuck Osama Bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and backward-ass cave-dwelling fundamentalist assholes everywhere. On the names of innocent thousands murdered, I pray you spend the rest of eternity with your seventy-two whores roasting in a jet-fuel fire in hell. You towel-headed camel jockeys can kiss my royal Irish ass! Fuck Jacob Elinsky. Whining malcontent. Fuck Francis Xavier Slaughtery my best friend, judging me while he stares at my girlfriend’s ass. Fuck Naturelle Riviera, I gave her my trust and she stabbed me in the back, sold me up the river, fucking bitch. Fuck my father with his endless grief, standing behind that bar sipping on club sodas, selling whisky to firemen, and cheering the Bronx Bombers. Fuck this whole city and everyone in it. From the row-houses of Astoria to the penthouses on Park Avenue, from the projects in the Bronx to the lofts in Soho. From the tenements in Alphabet City to the brownstones in Park Slope to the split-levels in Staten Island. Let an earthquake crumble it, let the fires rage, let it burn to fucking ash and then let the waters rise and submerge this whole rat-infested place. [pause] No. No, fuck you, Montgomery Brogan. You had it all, and you threw it away, you dumb fuck!

25th Hour (2002), screenplay by David Benioff, based on his play

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week is talking to one’s self, suggested by camdeaver. Today’s suggestion by Sean McIntyre.

Trivia: Edward Norton says he took every penny he made from Red Dragon to finance this film.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Now this is a monologue!