This post includes a brief plot summary and an explanation about the ending of the film “Scarface” (1983). Beware of spoilers.
Directed by Brian De Palma, the 1983 crime drama stars Al Pacino as Tony Montana, Steven Bauer as Manny Ribera and Michelle Pfeiffer as Elvira.
The film “Scarface” is about a Cuban immigrant, Tony Montana, who becomes a powerful drug lord. In the 1980s, Tony and his best friend (Manny Ribera) arrive in Miami during the Mariel boatlift. During their time at the Florida refugee camp, they undertake a contract killing in exchange for a green card.
Note: During the Mariel boatlift in 1980, many Cubans left their country and went to the US by boat. Fidel Castro, the Cuban leader, said anyone who wanted to leave could do so from the port of Mariel. At the time, the US government gave them temporary status and help to settle in.
What Happens in Scarface? (Plot Explained)
In order to support themselves, Tony and Manny work as dishwashers at a local restaurant. However, Tony had greater ambitions for himself. One day, the opportunity came to work for a local drug dealer, Frank Lopez.
Tony proves his worth after surviving a violent deal with Colombian drug dealers. After having a taste of success, Tony makes a meteoric rise to power. Soon, the gangster takes over Frank’s empire and his girlfriend, Elvira.
As his own empire grows, Tony also becomes increasingly paranoid and addicted to cocaine. Meanwhile, the gangster tries to protect his younger sister Gina from his lifestyle, but she falls in love with Manny. After finding out that Gina secretly married Manny, he kills his best friend on the spot.
Tony’s life begins to spiral downward as he gets into more trouble with the police and his own family members. Then Tony refused to cooperate with Alejandro Sosa, the Bolivian drug lord who helped him rise to power. After a change of heart, Tony fails to execute the target and sabotages the political assassination, which deeply angers Sosa.
The Ending of “Scarface” Explained
The ending of “Scarface” shows Sosa sending a group of hitmen to Tony’s mansion to kill him. For a moment, Tony fights back. But then, one of Sosa’s men shows up from behind and shoots Tony in the back. The gangster falls from his balcony into a fountain below, where a neon sign reads “The World Is Yours”.
Tony Montana’s Death
The protagonist’s death marks the climax of his downfall. Despite reaching the heights of fortune and infamy during his short time in America, Tony Montana’s life ended in a brutal way. Before his demise, his wife, Elvira, left him. Due to his erratic behaviour, Tony also ended up killing his own best friend, which made him lose the respect and support of his sister.
What is the significance of the globe at the end?
The globe at the end of “Scarface” is a symbol of Tony Montana’s ambition and desire for power. However, Tony’s lifeless body lying on the fountain next to the globe serves as a stark reminder of the tragic consequences of his lifestyle. The globe itself highlights the irony and tragedy of Tony Montana’s life. His quick rise to power was mirrored by an equally brutal end.
So what is the meaning behind the final scene of “Scarface”? The ending of “Scarface” suggests that one cannot build success or achieve happiness at the expense of someone else’s grief. Ultimately, Tony Montana’s actions came with a hefty price: misfortune and death. Being a gangster and leading a life of crime is devoid of any real value.
Scarface Analysis and Themes
The film “Scarface” explores the following themes: the American dream, immorality and materialism. Tony Montana is an immigrant who arrives in Miami with nothing but dreams of success. His belief in hard work paired with an unshakable determination allowed him to rise quickly to the top, achieving great wealth and power.
However, the very thing that made Tony Montana successful also led to his demise. His insatiable ambition led Tony to other paths, such as greed and corruption. In the end, the protagonist let his ego get the best of him, and he had to pay the price for it. Tony Montana’s downfall serves as a critique of the American Dream.
“Scarface” showcases the brutal reality of organized crime and the repercussions of that lifestyle. As mentioned before, Tony Montana’s wealth came at the expense of other people. The same goes for the other drug lords depicted in the film. Alejandro Sosa is also another great example of immorality. The man was willing to kill an entire innocent family for his own benefit.
Last but not least, “Scarface” reminds the audience about the dangers of valuing materialism over substance. The more Tony Montana progressed on the success ladder, the more he neglected his personal relationships. Despite possessing all the material things that one could only wish for, Tony Montana died alone.
“Scarface” is a classic, and its story serves as a cautionary tale about ambition, greed and power. Tony Montana’s relentless and ruthless pursuit of wealth and status ended up leading him to his downfall. There is something inspiring and tragic at the same time about the protagonist.
Al Pacino is brilliant as Tony Montana. The actor perfectly captured the character’s charisma, intensity and inner turmoil. Al Pacino’s out-of-this-world performance makes the audience empathize with Tony Montana, even when he commits atrocious acts.
Before watching it, I was totally unaware of the cultural impact that the film had. “Scarface” has numerous memorable scenes and lines that have influenced pop culture for decades. Not only that, but its soundtrack is also pretty iconic. All these together really make “Scarface” an unforgettable experience for the viewer.
In my opinion, “Scarface” is a true masterpiece, one of Brian De Palma’s finest pieces of art. The film is a heavy critique of the dark side of the American dream and explores the consequences of corruption and excess. Overall, “Scarface” is a film that deserves to be seen, and Al Pacino’s performance is immaculate.