Mr. Nice is a British and Spanish co-production released in 2010, largely based on the best seller autobiography with the same name, by Howard Marks. The movie has a much lower degree of good appreciation than it deserves, which is very unfortunate. A certain pattern of education is implemented along the lines that the cannabis is bad and must not only be avoided, but has to be forbidden. Users and more than them, the merchants, must be punished through extermination.
It is claimed by American critics that the movie ridicules the “War on Drugs” declared by almost every United States President since Reagan. I may ask, or you may ask, what “War on Drugs”? The one with the cartels not sanctioned by governmental institutions or even worse, leading more or less directly to the President, or the one in which the United States DEA gives some examples of caught dealers from time to time, to justify its existence and the terrible expenses extracted on the shoulders of the American taxpayer. Marks says in his book that “the DEA has offices in sixty-seven of the world’s countries. It has more power than the KGB ever had”. I think that you got an idea.
There is one other side of the educational pattern, which has nothing to do with the hippies (as the average or mass media educated American mostly thinks) or “drug dealers”. “Marijuana”, a nickname given to hemp just for marketing purposes didn’t actually kill anyone, but alcohol and tobacco do that daily. Hemp, was a large scale cultivated crop in the United States before the Second World War. Paper and clothes were made from hemp fiber. The whole propaganda made to induce error in the American people’s mind, about how “dangerous” marijuana is, was made to forbid it’s cultivation for complex reasons. Hemp was cheaper than wood and the hemp textiles more resistant, not mentioning the other reasons, based on the truth about hemp smokers. They are non-violent, they don’t drink and they don’t lie. Hemp is far for being evil, and that’s a fact.
Coming back to the subject, it’s obvious that the movie is a pale abbreviation of the book, even made with Howard Marks consulting around. It is directed, written and filmed by Bernard Rose. It stars as Howard “Mr. Nice” Marks, the astounding Welsh legend, Rhys Ifans. In other roles, are Chloë Sevigny as his beloved wife, David Thewlis in a great colorful Irish tongue character, and the Charlie’s Angels spy movie fame, Crispin Glover.
It aroused a fifty-fifty balance of sympathy between the critics because of “the dope”, the law and the incredibly low promotion level, being an Indie and not the most pro-establishment subject.
In real life, Howard Marks was a non-violent human, who was exaggeratedly sentenced to twenty five years in American prisons for “racketeering” cannabis products. I liked what he said in the book referring to the procedures of moving the inmates from a detention place to another. Their hands, bodies and feet were chained and a “black box”, a lump of heavy metal like a portable pillory without the hole for the head which renders the handcuffs completely rigid, preventing any independent hand movement.- approximate quote.
“Nevertheless, according to information furnished to the US Federal Bureau of Prisons by Special Agent Craig Lovato of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, I’m an Oxford graduate and a British Secret Service operative, and, apparently, I can get out of places that Houdini couldn’t even get into”.
Enjoy the movie, read the book. I have just started to do that out of curiosity. Not hard to guess, is a page turner and is very funny written. The movie is only rated a 6.4 out of ten on imdb. Too bad.
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