The Bittersweetness of "Hard Candy"?

By Zyrius, The Buddhist Channel, Sept 4, 2006

Dharma-Inspired Movie Review:

Singapore -- "Hard Candy" is a "koan-ish" movie that seems to blur the line between right and wrong - a modern day fable about moral ambiguity. The story is about a 14-year-old girl (played by Ellen Page), who tricks and punishes a man (played by Patrick Wilson) she suspects to be a pedophile and murderer, who stalks girls in Internet chatrooms.

She lures him into bringing her into his own house. After which, in an unexpected reversal of roles, she manages to drug him, tie him up, and castrate him, before finally shaming him into killing himself.

Little girls should never talk to strangers?
Strangers should never talk to little girls?

Is the bait already trapped?
Is the bait to be the trap?

Is it the Big Bad Wolf against Little Red Riding Hood?
Is it Little Red Riding Hood against the Big Bad Wolf?

Is the victim the victimiser?
Is the victimiser the victim?

Is the self-conscious guilty the perverted?
Is the self-righteous punisher of the guilty perverted?

Is there empathy for the punished?
Is there disgust at the punisher?

Is there attachment to wanting poetic justice?
Is there aversion from seeing dark justice?

Is one right while the other wrong?
Are none right but both wrong?

Do punishers need to reform?
Is punishment the only way of reforming?

Is this a warning for pedophiles?
Is this a warning for vigilantes?

The Golden Rule -

"As I am, so are others; as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed. ~The Buddha (Sutta Nipata 705)