The movies A Clockwork Orange and No Country for Old Men are both very violent and action movies, but they are quite different in the way they are expressed. Both movies tell disturbing stories about men who killed other people but because of different reasons. This gives us a good reason to compare and contrast these two movies.
First, let us look at A Clockwork Orange. This movie is all about Alex de Large, a teenager who is the leader of a gang of criminals. Alex and his friends habitually take in drugs, rob, rape, beat up and kill people, without any remorse or regret. They actually enjoy having pleasure at the expense of others. They have no actual purpose in doing these things, just having their own fun.
Alex and his gang do their own thing without a care in the world, not thinking about the authorities or the people around them, not even their own families. Alex himself causes the crack in his friendships with those in his gang when he keeps on making fun of Dim and becomes overbearing over them.
Dim and the rest of the gang start making plans on their own, without telling their leader Alex. The story takes a turn when Alex’s friends betray him during a failed robbery, after he hit the woman of the house in the head. They actually hit him on the head and left Alex passed out, to be captured later on by the police.
Alex enters a new chapter in his life when the woman he hit eventually died. He was then charged with murder and was sentenced to 14 years in prison, and his friends were not captured because they all turned on him. As Alex was being processed into the prison, his self-pride is being broken down little by little when the prison guards and warden talked down on him and put him in his right place.
As 2 years go by, you may think that Alex might be making some progress because of his closeness with the prison chaplain, and his growing interest in the Bible. He also told the chaplain of his desire to be “changed”. But the scenes where we can see Alex’s real fantasies and daydreams show us that that is really not the case. It seems that he is just interested in doing whatever it would take to gain some favors and get out of prison.
Alex finally gets his chance when he hears about a new treatment that would make imprisoned criminals change and would help them stay out of prison. He takes his chances and even presents himself to the Minister so that he would be chosen for the treatment. You might think that Alex might have been having his doubts when he almost didn’t sign the contract, but he did anyway.
Things become worse for Alex when he actually goes through the treatment; he cannot do the things he used to want to do! Every time he has the urge for violence or sex, Alex would involuntarily retch and feel nauseous. This is because the Ludovico treatment actually conditioned Alex to react as such. The government and the scientists actually think that the treatment is a success, and they eventually release Alex.
As soon as Alex goes out of prison, it seems like all of the bad things he did in the past finally caught up to him. All of the pain he caused in the lives of other people all went back to him, making him suffer. His “redemption” comes in an unexpected way, when he jumps out of a window to escape the pain being inflicted upon him by one of his past victims.
The movie’s last scene shows Alex in the hospital, and it seems that he’s back to his old self. It seems that Alex might get away with what he wants to do, after all.