A quick perusal of writer/director Oliver Stone’s résumé represents a filmmaker who knows how to tell important stories as well as entertaining ones, along with several that are both important and entertaining. Stone’s latest work, “Savages,” is an intense R-rated crime thriller based on Don Winslow’s novel of the same name that, with its action-packed, gritty and violent story, is meant to be more entertainment than message.
Asked what he wants audiences to get out of the film, Stone recently told MTV News, “[There’s] no message. I think it gets very complex with this movie with six different major relationships. It’s a game of cat and mouse for power. Every one of these six people change in the course of the movie, frankly, and they arrive at a place they never thought they’d get to, and a lot happens. A lot of twists and turns, but I don’t want to give it away, you know that.
“We have quite a ride,” he continued. “It is set in a drug war. It’s set in California, and we have a new burgeoning industry here with young independent growers. It makes sense. It’s a hypothetical situation; it could happen.”
While Stone claimed that there is no hidden message in the story, which revolves around two grassroots pot dealers who get tangled up with a larger and more dangerous Mexican drug cartel, he does have strong opinions on the subject of marijuana, as evidenced by his appearance on the cover of High Times magazine, along with his thoughts on the government’s long tug-of-war over its legalization.
“I think it’s a tragedy what has happened, and I saw it coming 40 years ago, and it keeps going. And of course politicians keep making election promises,” Stone told MTV News. “It’s an easy subject to win votes on.
“At the same time, a lot of money gets involved, and it’s built up into a huge industry in America and in Mexico, where we have criminal justice that has been perverted. We have victimless crimes all over our jails: 50 percent of our jail population is involved with victimless crimes, most of them with drugs. Money gets made by the prisons and the precept will take them private, you know that, and the politicians win votes, the prosecutors, the judges, the bailiffs, everything. It’s like the Pentagon: It never stops when you start.”
So, what’s it going to take to make a real change?
“It would take a bold man,” Stone shared. “Obama promised it, but he never delivered. He certainly talked about it. He let us down in a big way on that issue. You know what it’s going to take? New leadership. Young people like yourself to get out there and get in front of things and just call a spade a spade. Maybe when some of these old, ignorant bastards die, we can change things.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Savages.”
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