There is a beautiful quote from Dark knight movie, where Christian Bale, says “It is not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me”
An action and set of actions defines a person. However, what if a person, whose intentions are good, and actions are not in line with it ? On the moral scales, guilty feelings are what guide people to atonement. And atonement, results in a deep moral dilemma, before a person could reconcile guilt & actions. The movie ‘Calibre ‘ is all about the dilemma between 2 characters & how they achieve atonement.
Director, Matt Palmer introduces the 2 friends to us. Marcus, a risk taker, adventure seeker, with no commitments and baggage in his life. Vaughn, is represented as a caring boy friend, expecting father, thrilled family man, conscience filled heart, yet fragile, in dealing with Marcus. Vaughn easily yields to him. He is like one of us, who accommodates certain bullies as a friend, as a form of protection. A psychological protection !
An accident turned crime, facilitates Vaughn to realize that he has got into a terrible problem & no way he can escape. Whilst Vaughn is certainly aware of the crime, his involvement & consequences, he meekly agrees to Marcus & his actions, to conceal the crime. As an audience, I asked, why Vaughn surrenders to Marcus so meekly ? Is Marcus the Villain ? And at what point does an accident becomes a crime?
In the law, there is a place where accident and crime intersect: criminally negligent homicide, in which the guilty party need not have been aware of the potential danger of his actions. Manslaughter, too, is accidental in a sense: it indicates that harm, but not death, was intended. ”The gradations all turn on one question and that is, what was the state of mind of the actor ?
Matt Palmer has done well, in terms of not being preachy about this dilemma, and making a fine balance between the moral arguments between the 2 friends & the plot.
There is a moment, even Marcus would realize, why did he turn into a criminal. This is where I see, the fine balance of arguments between both the characters, Marcus & Vaughn, reflecting, what they have done and how each one of them are interpreting it. The movie revolves around both the characters, being the protagonist, & also the villains. Director Matt has represented the shades of their fragility & evilness in appropriate proportion. In the end, the suspense is all about how the villagers facilitate punishment for both the friends.
In the psychological realm, accidents are often considered the surfacing of some unconscious urge. More we know about human beings & their psychology, almost nothing is a complete accident, and yet the more we know about our own makeup, the more responsible we are for our actions, isn’t ? Paradox !
Is Vaughn the hunter & Marcus the hunted ?
List of movies, which were centred around this theme – ‘Moral Dilemma’— https://www.thoughtco.com/top-ethical-dilemmas-in-war-movies-3438689