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Bullets over Broadway

Bullets Over Broadway 2.jpg

The Recurring Line

By Amir Faress • 12/25/19

Bullets over Broadway takes issue with the recurring line “the artist creates his own moral universe,” essentially treating it as a running theme. The film ridicules the notion that, since morality is a social construct created in part by artists, the rules of morality do not apply to artists themselves, as they are the ultimate arbiters of right and wrong.

The problem with this running theme is that, although it applies to Cheech (who is willing to kill for his art), it hardly applies to David, the film’s protagonist - except perhaps with regard to his affair, which is essentially a side story.

The same holds true regarding the other theme that pops up here and there: “does one fall in love with the artist or the man?” This theme is likewise half-baked, as it is not encompassing enough to cover the story as a whole in its many dimensions.

The film’s real controlling idea (though not crystalized clearly) has to do with the lengths to which an artist may go in order to preserve the purity of his or her work. This idea is present throughout the movie (from the very first seconds) and applies to both David and Cheech. Unfortunately, this general theme is overshadowed by two recurring lines, neither of which truly encapsulates the spirit of the film.

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