The Ides of March: A Tale of Three Betrayals

For The Ideas of March (a little late… sorry about that), I wanted to discuss some betrayals portrayed in movies. I considered forming a top 10 or 5 list, but decided that this time I just wanted to focus on three betrayals, not necessarily a top 3, but three that just interest me in one way or another.

1. Mondego Betrays Dantes: The Count of Monte Cristo

the-count-of-monte-cristo-poster

Their relationship before betrayal: Best buds.

The motive: Though Dantes is as poor as dirt, he seems content with his life and seems to have favor: he gets promoted on his ship and he has a very lovely lady who wants to be his wife. And Mondego, who is much wealthier, just can’t stand it that he is so much more miserable than Dantes.

The execution: He frames Dantes for treason, with a little help, and Dantes is shipped off to Château d’If, an awful prison for men who did not actually commit any crimes. Dantes stays here for many years before he is able to find a way to escape.

shipwrecked

The kicker: Mondego steals Dantes’ girl!

guy-pearce-monte-cristo

The aftermath: Dantes finds a group of sea-baring smugglers and joins them. He befriends Jacopo, whose life he spared, and together they go to find a treasure, with which Dantes uses to create an elaborate scheme to fool Mondego and exact his revenge.

I am only scratching the surface of the story. I haven’t read the book, so all my knowledge is based on the movie, but I think it is a great story. Definitely check out the movie if you haven’t seen it!

Great Quote: “How did I escape? With difficulty. How did I plan this moment? With pleasure!” – Dantes

2. Steve betrays Charlie, John, Rob, Lyle, and Left Ear: The Italian Job

the_italian_job_

Their relationship before betrayal: Partners in crime.

The motive: Steve wants money and doesn’t care about his fellow partners in crime, who prefer comradery among one another  and stealing without guns.

The execution: He and some other guys (who we never see again and presumably don’t get a cut of the gold) turn their guns on Charlie and company after a successful heist.

john&charlie

The kicker: Steve kills John in this process. And he doesn’t even know what he wants to do with his money.

The aftermath: Charlie and company recruit John’s daughter and expert safe-cracker, Stella, for a job to steal the gold back from Steve… and succeed.

stella

What is it about a heist movie that makes you like characters who commit crimes? It helps, I suppose, when they live by their own code of ethics, like not using guns and remaining loyal friends to one another. And it hurts them when someone turns on them and betrays them so that they can have ALL the gold to themselves.

Great Quote: “Same old Steve huh? Always thinking defensively. That’s why you’re always number two.” – Charlie

3. Anakin betrays the Jedis: Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith

sith-anakin

Their relationship before betrayal: Anakin was a Jedi, training under Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The motive: Anakin knows he is very powerful, and he believes that the only way he can save his wife, Padme, is by learning about the powers from the Dark Side of the Force.

The execution: This betrayal is much slower and more gradual. While Anakin is annoying and whiny for two films, in the third film, he becomes really likable. He seems to be on the right path, but as he grows fearful, his mind becomes susceptible to what the Dark Side wants to offer him.

obiwan&padme

The kicker: He kills younglings!

The aftermath: Anakin is fully consumed by the Dark Side, and lava, thus becoming Darth Vader. And ultimately, Padme dies, and his two children are separated and sent to two different families.

darthvader

Even though anyone who has seen the Star Wars prequels knows this is coming, it is still something else to watch it unfold before your eyes. The moment I first saw the Vader mask clip over Anakin seriously gave me chills.

Great Quote: “You were the chosen one! It was said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them. You were to bring balance to the force, not leave it in darkness… You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you.” – Obi-Wan

What are some other great betrayals we’ve seen in movies that interest you?

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