“Mock Bird”

This movie is a time capsule, preserving hopes and sentiments from a kinder, gentler and more naïve America. The movie was released in December, 1962. The most hopeful movements of that time are dealt with a series of blows of racism. But this movie is a backdrop to the mainstream culture of that time introducing a white man liberal who defends a black man accused of rape. “To Kill A Mocking Bird” has remained a favorite
movie of all time. It is listed in the 29th rank of best film of all time in the poll by the “Internet Poll Database.” There are several admirers of Harper Lee’s novel.

In this movie, we see the happenings from the point of view of a six year old tomboy Scout who lives with her Widow father, Atticus Finch and a ten year brother, Jem. The movie is screened in Maycomb, a tired old town, a place with dirty roads, climbing veins, rocking chairs, panama hats, picket fences. Atticus goes to his law office and the children play through the lazy hot days. They have a neighbor named “Dill” Harris whom Jem scares
blabbering about the Radley House. Jem says Radley the owner of the house has his son, Boo chained to the bed .He eats raw squirrel and cats. He is six and half feet tall. Radley has yellow and rotten teeth. Which makes it clear Jem has never seen Radley.

Into this peace calm drops thunderbolt when the town judge asks Atticus to defend a black man, Tom Robbinson who is accused of raping a white lady. The courtroom scene is the most important part of the movie in which it is evident the girl forced herself on Tom and he tried to flee but everyone including the judged had the case against him. Though Atticus gained respect from the Blacks but he lost the case. Meanwhile Tom tried to flee
from the Deputy who shot to wound him, missed it and  killed him. The movie from here is dream like. The director, “Robert Mulligan” tried to show the positive sides of the movie

As I said, this movie is like a time capsule. Released in 1962, it beautifully highlights the racist scenario then. One can differentiate it with the current scene. There is one scene where Atticus is faced by the lynching mob who wants to hang Tom Robbinson . Scout at this point address the mob giving them a “strategically exercised speech” driving the mob away. Could a child turn away the mob at that time. Is it not nice to think so?



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