There are a lot of different things about humanity that are positive and negative when one takes a deep, introspective look around the human psyche since humans are simple creatures that can turn incredibly complex at times. When it comes to convincing people of what’s real, what’s valuable, and what’s worth caring about, though, people can become amazingly simple. The thing is, a lot of people don’t want to admit that they can be led about like sheep since folks want to believe that they have freedom of thought and can make up their own minds. In various movies, however, it’s shown that people can be convinced of just about anything and can be led down one path or another that they might not have selected on their own. The ability to manipulate people is one that’s existed for longer than many realize since the decision to manipulate others is one that some people tend to make in an unconscious manner at times, while some do this as a habit that can’t be stopped.
Here are five movies that show how easily people can be manipulated.
Based on a true story that occurred in Australia years ago, Snowtown is a rather depressing tale of how one man convinced an entire neighborhood to start turning on those he deemed to be undesirable and, therefore, unwanted. The movie did take a few liberties with the truth, as one might expect, but the realization that even part of the movie happened to be based entirely on truth is insanely depressing since it indicates that people really don’t question when someone disruptive comes into their orbit. A story like this is typically something that people hope isn’t real for a number of reasons, but one of those is the fact that people don’t want to believe that they can be manipulated this easily.
4. Summer of Sam
Amazingly, Spike Lee did use a lot of realistic elements from the actual events that took place in the 70s when it came to the Son of Sam murders, even though this was a fictionalized version of the truth. One thing to take note of in this movie is that people did start dancing to a certain tune when it came to the Son of Sam killer, David Berkowitz, since women started wearing blonde wigs and people started jumping at shadows, thinking they were the next ones to go. Having a violent killer in one’s midst appears to have a profound effect on a lot of people, creating a type of herd mentality that can become increasingly negative unless the issue is resolved.
If ever there was an example of how easily people could be influenced, the Roman colosseum is one that stands out in stark relief since even if Gladiator was highly fictionalized, it does show that people are easily swayed by a spectacle that grabs their attention. One can easily imagine that many people who attended the games didn’t care one way or another who lived and who died, they simply came to be entertained, much as people do these days when watching a fight or a sporting competition. It’s all about the entertainment value that can be gleaned from one event or another and how convincing the people behind the event can be.
2. The Saint
This movie is a little less obvious about manipulation until one sees how the main villain is seeking to wrest power from the current ruling regime and how quickly people are made to turn on their leaders when it comes to freezing to death or staying warm. In this movie, it’s very easy to state that the manipulative effects that are played on the people are about as devious as they get since withholding something that people need to survive, such as heating oil that could help them survive the winter. This level of manipulation isn’t just diabolical. It’s deadly since it pits people against each other in a manner that makes it clear that the people will back whoever can help them the most.
1. Law Abiding Citizen
The laws that we follow aren’t perfect by any means since there are times when the law doesn’t work for one person but will work nearly perfectly for someone else. In this movie, manipulation of the law isn’t exactly easy, but it’s shown that it can likely happen since throwing legal precedents at people in order to convince them of one thing or another is something that feels as though it could happen. Granted, this movie is an extreme case that dramatizes how the law really works, but the idea that someone could dig into past cases and bring up instances that prove that the law is on their side doesn’t feel too far-fetched.
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