The movie, Philadelphia, was an excellent example of the severe discrimination many people with Aids are exposed to. In this instance the main character, Andy, was also gay. Unfortunately, in our society, he was faced with a double whammy. The gay issue is controversial enough, but to compound that in the work force with having Aids would be almost unbearable for any person to cope with. Tom Hanks played Andy with a serious need to communicate to the viewers how everyday life, work, emotions and mental well being are affected by this kind of situation. The movie was well cast and thoughtfully portrayed Andy's serious predicament. The theme was very interesting. It made me realize how lucky I am to not have to deal with those kinds of problems.
It's really very frightening to realize, as Andy did, that even our legal system can be discriminating. When he started looking for a lawyer, he found many people who did not want to represent him because of his illness. The frustration he felt must have been a real burden. Most people were afraid of him. Even the man who finally represented him was afraid of him. He soon came to understand Andy was no threat to his health or his reputation, but someone he learned from and ended up becoming friends with.
Andy himself feared his disease even before he was sure he had it. He did not want to go for his blood test. He didn't want to face the reality of having Aids. He really didn't have any choice. After the doctor confirmed his fears and diagnosed him as having Aids, Andy began to deal with the news and the way it was changing his life and how people treated him. His employer was trying to shaft him. He fought for his rights, not knowing what the outcome would be, but knowing this was something he felt he must do.
The turning point in the movie for Andy was when he was in the library trying to learn more about Aids. He was asked by the librarian to go to a private room. His lawyer was there and saw this happening, although he was hiding behind a pile of books. I guess this is when he realized Andy needed him to help protect his rights.
It killed me to think just because someone has an illness people don't understand that they can let their ignorance make them behave in a way they normally wouldn't. To tell you the truth I can't honestly say I would have acted any different then the librarian did! The lawyer took the book Andy was holding out of his hand to show the librarian he was not afraid getting the disease by touching something Andy had touched. Andy must have felt one hell of a big relief when that happened! He finally had someone on his side.
I hated the firm Andy worked for. At first they seemed okay, but after they tried shafting Andy, I was really pissed. He worked for them, produced for them, was an asset to their business and then they just blew him off. The blowing him off part wasn't as bad as how they tried to do it. They tried to make him look like a loser. They cut down his work, his character, his abilities as an employee. What gives them the right to try and destroy someone's life ?? Especially someone whose life is being detroyed anyway by the disease he has. The illness didn't affect the way he did his job or how well he did it. They were just a bunch of ignorant morons who didn't care about anything other than how having someone with Aids working for them would make them and their business look..... and in their opinions it could ruin them. So, just fire the guy to cover their own asses. What a bunch of shit! Especially coming from the very institution that was supposed to help protect peoples' rights, lawyers! The whole system must have really gotten to Andy. Especially because he was a part of that very same system. I agreed with the verdict of the trial hands down. It really made me happy to