"A Clockwork Orange", directed by the immeasurable Stanley Kubrick, starring Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Adirenne Corri, Aubrey Morris and James Marcus and produced by Stanley Kubrick in 1971, is, in my opinion, one of the greatest morality plays ever captured on film. It leads viewer in to many different pathways of thought about the time we live in, and about the validity of the concepts of law and morality, and the applications of the two in general society.
Vincent Canby was on to something when he called "A Clockwork Orange" perversely moral and essentially Christian. The value shown by the general public are far from either, but the whole idea I got from the many times I saw the film is the dangers of leading a life free of free will, and following the will imposed by those in higher authority. Alex is by no means a moral character, but he is an archetype for the negative elements in society that are currently out of control in our time. He is not an endearing character, and he really doesn't need to be. If the viewer was supposed to be in favor of the things he as doing and the way those things were done, Alex would have found God in prison and would have been turned into a motivational speaker. That kind of Hollywood ending would be pretty much useless in trying to prove the point that I think Kubrick was attempting to make.
The main focus of this film is the idiotic forms of punishment that the governments of the world have dreamed up to nullify crime. Reality has actually shown what happens when former gang members become police officers. Los Angeles has a problem of internal corruption and continued membership in the gang that the individuals in question were supposed to have left. It's different in the movie, but it is still obviously a mistake to give former violent criminals street authority.
The ideas of punishment in place in Alex's world are first culturally different because he lives in England, where the death penalty has been rightfully abolished for some time, and second because it is a relatively futuristic fantasy world. Unfortunately, the reality of crime and punishment in America in 2003 is not really that incongruous. The police are notoriously corrupt, the methods of "rehabilitation" for criminals actually do create a sort of perpetual prison culture that oftentimes leads to repeat offenders who become conditioned to exist only in prison, wither or not they are still in prison. The difference would be that the brainwashing is not actually a planned...