- Kane is a psychotic gang leader.
- Kingi is a police informant who has been undercover in the gang.
- Tania is a nurse who has had an on-off relationship with Kingi.
- Kane and some cohorts kidnap Kingi and Tania.
- Our subjects end up at a deserted quarry.
- Much mucking around with failed escape attempts ensues.
- Kane attempts to kill Kingi.
- Kane makes it clear he intends to rape* Tania before killing her too.
- Of course the good guys somehow escape death (and rape).
- Kane ends up bleeding and semi-conscious on the ground with Tania standing over him.
- Kingi wants to leave Kane behind to die or whatever.
- Tania insists that she try to help Kane.
- Kane tells Tania again that he intends to rape her.
- Tania kicks Kane savagely, and repeatedly.
This clearly wasn't self-defence, unless you can be defending yourself after the fact (even the noise the keys make while I type that sounds absurd). Tania was not at any risk from Kane at that moment or in the near future.
I can comprehend the desire to hurt Kane in that situation. I can understand where someone is coming from when they pick a fight with a rapist who hurt someone they love. I can see the rationale of the sexual assault victim who attacks the person who abused them, years after the fact.
I've wanted to hit people, but I haven't. I had a chance once to run over someone I loathed, who at that time I felt was ruining my life and the lives of some of my closest friends, but I didn't push down the accelerator. Afterwards I wondered why, but the truth was I never really considered it, despite my rage against that particular man machine.
I've been very very angry in my life. I was pretty angry this afternoon but I managed not to "lash out" or "lose control". Although I must admit there was a lot of swearing.
Ultimately I don't think violence is the right response, to any provocation. If we make it ok to hit people for some reason then surely we end up going down a slippery slope; trying to work out where the line is between justifiable and not.
Is violence justice? Does retribution work? I think our prisons are full of people who prove the answer is no on both counts.
* I could be wrong, as I didn't watch every tiny bit, but I'm pretty sure the word rape, or any allusion to sex, is absent from the dialogue. It's 7pm family viewing time after all. This is a pretty clear intention, as there are a number of times when a character says something like "And before he killed me he was going to ... (meaningful pause for adult viewers to fill in the gap) it doesn't bear thinking about."