Achievements in the drug field uphold their masculinity than what they ever gained, as well as enfolding their vulnerability. Trade-offs come as a matter of course that they lose their former peace in life with their loved ones.

Emotional loops in films undeniably remain traces in the audience’ mind. I’m often interested in those the characters’ emotions are expressed in a discreet and metaphoric manner, rather than way too passionate and forthright of embrace. Particularly, losses and deadlocks are likely to be called in my mind more than the vast happiness held within the story. Thus I tend to mentally masturbate with dark films.

I used to be in a memorable relationship with a cinephile. We spent abundant time watching and discussing various films. We laughed, we went silent and we felt harassed in tune with the characters. Once he almost cried when Jane in Breaking Bad died from drug shock even though he had watched the series probably not less than 5 times his whole life. He asked whether I shed tears too. Hardly could I kill his mood by revealing that only her beauty stuck in my mind while she was being through the meth stroke. Moreover, I’m attracted to rather men’s world, e.g. Félix Gallardo in Narcos: Mexico or Walter White in Breaking Bad.

Félix Gallardo & Walter White – Trade-offs for Power

Those were the days I and my guy had been watching Narcos: Mexico, for which I tried but can never like it since I dislike Michael Anthony Pena playing the undercover agent Kiki. Yet a few episodes toward the end of Season 1 are amazing. I remember when Félix (Diego Luna) decides to step on his solid marriage when reaching the position of cocaine tycoon. He starts to be in various affairs and one of them gets 6 months pregnant. He attempts to save the marriage at first. However, when it all comes down to make a choice between following his wife and children back to Sinaloa with a life of old days and Guadalajara where he built the empire, Félix eventually chooses the metropolitan city and his business. He proclaims that she’s right, that he has changed and he no longer needs her. He also bluntly eliminates a bro who has been side by side for ages. As well, he breaks a durable friendship with a woman who has always secretly admired and supported him.

In Breaking Bad, Walter White (Bryan Cranston) never betrays his wife in terms of romance script, but he comes harsher and harsher on her and others in a positive correlation with his business success. From a guy who tries to convince himself for not killing Krazy-8, he turns into a badass Heisenberg the fearsome meth kingpin in the Southwest of America. “I am the one who knocks.” – snapped he at his wife for confronting him. His angry utter asserts himself as someone who can fully control over the spray-and-wash business. Besides, the Episode 7 of Season 5 marks Heisenberg’s historic quote “Say my name”. Walter White or Heisenberg’s pompous tropes imply the myth of individualism and masculinity in a modern society. Such a nostalgia for Walter’s tears while choking Krazy-8 as his first victim. His sacrifice for the family is never welcomed. Everyone wishes him to vanish. The consequences for him are traumatic, yet he deserves these for putting his wife and children into danger. Anyway, I was so relieved when Walter admitted with his wife that he did all that for himself. That true confession is the ultimate iconic scene in my heart.

“I am the one who knocks.” (Season 4, Episode 6)

“Say my name.” (Season 5, Episode 7)

“I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really… I was alive.” (Season 5, Episode 16)

The transformation

Walter’s transformation of motives and personality is relatively similar to Félix’. Both of them used to feel inferior to others in terms of background, power and money wise. They get mired to make their own empire. They don’t let any single one including their folks to break their rules. Those empires must be crystal monuments in perfection which are sophisticatedly embellished down into single cuts. The constructions embody their hidden world of pain and vulnerability, and the blood of hundreds of people into the bargain.

Let’s take a look at Walter’s case. He is a normal chemistry teacher at a high school, where he frequently deals with unruly youngsters. He works part-time as a car washer and cashier. Sometimes he has to clean his own students’ cars, resulting that he gets humiliated by them. His collapse at the car wash makes his family find out that he is having an inoperable lung cancer. The thing is that he has never touched a cig. The medical treatment should cost him $170,000 while he has a poor quality insurance. AND his wife is pregnant and employed on the bench. AND his 17-year old son is cerebral palsied. I mean wow that’s such a whole package of tragedy dropping on Walter’s doorstep. When Jesse asks why he joins the drug realm at the age of 50, he simply replies: “I am awake.” That’s a real funny scene, yet it marks the interesting first step of his alteration from a do-gooder to a sociopath. 

I am not going to specify Félix’ case as his story is quite dim to me. Overall, these guys are excellent portrayals of male ego ideals. Freud believed that people are not born with a sense of ego. Nonetheless, the outside world majorly forms one’s beliefs and ideologies. For a man, they are expected to represent masculinity, ambition, self-sufficiency and so forth throughout their life. Unfortunately, Félix and Walter get their newfound power from criminal stuff. Achievements in the drug field uphold their masculinity than what they ever gained, as well as enfolding their vulnerability. Trade-offs come as a matter of course that they lose their former peace in life with their loved ones.

What a question if one day our folks are headed in the exact opposite direction. Everyone evolves, but can we actually turn things around and overthrow the prior bond? My cinephile ex advocated for those guys for their choice. His reasons are pretty much from a male perspective. Sacrifice, self-assertion and all. Well I could not argue a lot. However, if he had changed that 180 degrees, I would definitely give him a hand to pack all luggages and kick him out of our home. His brand-new identity would scare the shit out of me. Anyway, the fatter one’s ego, the more fragile he/she probably is. A big, fat ego can lead to the fear of being underappreciated, and this fear can make us miss out on moral development. It is little doubt that ego and moral values are entangled. I would not end this post by concluding that ego is the enemy. Yet the extent of breaking commonly accepted societal constrains is such a conundrum.

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