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A section from

‘A Jedi shall not know hatred, nor fear… nor love.’ from Star Wars Episode II






Contains Spoilers!


A thousand times more crimes are committed in the name of love than in the name of hate.


Athena Aquitane was a goddess, but she was no saint. She came to Hollywood to become an actress and in no time she became an a-lister because she played the game. Actor’s producers, studio bosses and executives fell in love with her - because of her looks but more so because of a certain seduction or vulnerability or secret that her eyes betrayed.


Yes - Athena played the game, but not recklessly. She had a violent and spiteful ex-husband and she had a secret. She was conservative by Hollywood standards but she rose to the top nevertheless. As a bankable star any movie that she became associated with was given the green light ispo-facto; and if the director had to go then the director had to go. But Athena had no illusions about the power she wielded - she knew it would last only as long as her looks. However instead of milking it while it lasted she became the darling of the press, people, fans and industry with her work ethic.


Lets just say that Athena understood what Margaret Thatcher meant when the Iron Lady said: ‘Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.’


But ethics take a back seat to survival, and when Athena’s ex-husband convinces her that he is a bona fide threat to her life Athena goes underground. A multi-million dollar production grinds to a halt, release dates are pushed back and the studio begins to bleed money. Athena has no family to speak of, her friends can’t convince her to return to work and she knows that the studio’s promise of security would last only till filming is underway. Athena sees only one way out - she promises to return to work once she feels completely safe, not a moment before.


It takes the studio a while to grasp the seriousness of the situation. More promises are made to Athena, then threats, and hundreds of thousands of dollars are lost installed shootings. Finally the studio give an inch and decides to sell of a percentage of the stalled film to a mysterious casino boss of questionable background. The buyer - a Mr. De Lena arranges a meeting with Athena.


The first meeting between Cross and Athena didn't go well. Athena remained unconvinced of Cross and still refuses to work. After recovering from Athena’s presence Cross apologises for his inability to help her and leaves.


Cross De Lena, when he saw Athena on that terrace, felt a shock of fear. Flashing through (his) mind was one of Gronevelt’s short lectures. Money can make you safe in this world, from everything except a beautiful woman. He yearned for the beauty of Athena Aquitane.


Cross De Lena - owner of the Xanadu casino in Vegas is no different from other men - he falls hopelessly in love with Athena.


Cross De Lena - former assassin to the mob is very different from other men - he understands that Athena has put a contract out on her ex-husband’s existence.


A few days later Athena’s ex-husband is found hanging from a tree in the woods in the following weeks - a suicide note is found on his person.


Athena shook her head. “They understood what I was asking them. Just as you did. They didn’t do it, they sold the picture to you. They didn’t care if I was killed after the picture was finished, but you did. And I knew you would help me even when you said that you couldn't. When I heard about you buying the picture, I knew exactly what you would do, but I didn’t think you could be so clever.”



The Last Don - Mario Puzo (Full Review)




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