Gone Baby Gone is a movie based on the kidnapping of a young girl called Amanda. This movie raises a number of ethical dilemmas as the lead characters are forced to question their actions and consider what is 'right and wrong' in the circumstances.
Part 1 – Central ethical issues
(a) Characters responses
The main characters in this film are Patrick and his partner Angie, who are hired to privately investigate the disappearance of Amanda. At the beginning of the film Patrick and Angie encounter their first ethical dilemma when deciding whether they will pursue this kidnapping case. Angie does not want to, as she is concerned about potentially finding Amanda abused or deceased. On the other hand Patrick is a good Christian character who wants to help and 'do the right thing'.
The character of Jack Doyle, a senior police chief within the film, initially appears to be a committed officer of the law. However, it is later discovered that he sacrificed his career and risked going to jail in order to kidnap Amanda and give her a better life. Was his decision to kidnap Amanda ethical?
The end of the film, leaves the characters and audience to ask the main ethical question “whether you would break the law in order to protect a child?” Both Patrick and Angie need to decide whether to leave Amanda with Jack or to call the police and return Amanda to her dysfunctional mother. The two characters were strongly divided on what they believed was the right decision to this ethical dilemma.
Gone Baby Gone allows the audience to question the main character's actions and evaluate whether the consequences of their choices justify the decisions they made. Patrick's determination to pursue the kidnapping case at all costs led to the death of three people. His decision to return Amanda to her mother leaves the audience wondering in the final scene whether he has done the right thing. Patrick risked his career, relationship and even his life...