Vince Gilligan, the creator of AMC’s Breaking Bad once said in a now infamous interview that his ultimate goal was to turn “Mr Chips” into “Scarface”. At the beginning of the series Walter White is an unassuming, seemingly unthreatening teacher with absolutely no criminal tendencies. By the end of Season 6, Walt is a criminal mastermind, and a morally ambiguous character who is willing to kill to achieve his goals.
Similarly Tony Montana starts at the bottom, and becomes a drug inhaling, Druglord over the course of the 1983 released Brian De Palma movie.
Click next to explore more comparisons between these two productions (Obvious spoilers ahead)-
A good starting point is that both Scarface and Breaking Bad feature drugs as a key component to the anti-heroes rise to the top and then subsequent downfall. Scarface’s drug is cocaine, which is featured heavily throughout, especially with regard to its usage by the titular character (at one stage on his desk there is even an impressive mountain of white powder). It could be said that the cocaine on his desk is symbolic of how he rose to power. In fact it is doubtful that there is ten minutes of screen time without Tony Montana getting his fix; it is clear that cocaine is a primary component of both his business and personal life.
Both of the characters use their respective drugs to build their way up the foodchain and to garner millions of dollars. As Walt arrogantly puts it at one stage, he is neither in the money or meth game but rather in, “the empire business”. However Walt’s drug is Methamphetamine, a more modern drug.
Walt and Tony are ultimately destroyed by their drugs, Tony’s overuse of the drug renders him a paranoid mess and leads to his demise whilst Walt, evidently doomed from the beginning of him “breaking bad” would not have had to face the ultimate price of losing his family if he had not embarked on a drug fuelled empire construction.
This article was first posted on October 6, 2013