The Last Castle – Write-up The story portrays a picture of the prisoner (army personnel General Irwin who held a very high rank in the US Army) in a jail in USA. The film basically talks about the leadership skills of the protagonist General Irwin, who was found guilty of violating the presidential order and sending the troop to Burundi, Africa.
In the prison, the warden, Colonel Winter was trying to make General Irwin, understand the system, making himself perfectly clear what prisoners are supposed to do under his command, just doing the best he can to do his job RIGHT, which suits that kind of situations in a prison where things could easily get rough and strict disciplines have to be employed. Here we can say that Colonel Winter performed the role of a transactional leader. Initially, Winter was a great admirer of the General but was offended by a comment by Irwin that he overhears.
He quickly resents what he perceives as Irwin’s attempt to change the attitude of the prisoners. There is a scene at the start of the movie where two prisoners were fighting and the warden, Colonel Winter didn’t take any effort to calm them. The consequence being that the fight came to an extreme point. Amidst all these circumstances in the prison, General Irwin came to the prison as a prisoner. The General’s charisma and high level in the military earns him the trust from the inmates for his charismatic leadership qualities.
On one occasion, Irwin is punished harshly after stopping a guard from clubbing a prisoner, Corporal Ramon Aguilar, who had made the mistake of saluting Irwin in the prison yard. Continuing to observe acts of cruelty, Irwin attempts to unify the prisoners by building a “castle wall” of stone and mortar at the facility, which in many ways resembles with a castle. Colonel Winter became insecure of Irwin’s growing popularity among inmates. Envying the respect Irwin is clearly receiving, Winter orders his guards to destroy the wall.
Aguilar, one of Irwin’s loyal soldier came in front of the bulldozer and tried to stop the bulldozer from destroying the wall. But Aguilar was gunned down. This worked as a catalyst against the dissatisfaction among the prisoners. Hereafter General Irwin took the control and started to work as an informal leader of the soldiers. The prisoners began to behave like soldiers around Irwin, using code words and gestures, infuriating the warden. Colonel Winter sensed this. Winter chose Yates, an anti-social prisoner bribing him to inform about Irwin’s plans in exchange for a reduced sentence.
But it was the irony that General Irwin made Yates to convey the wrong information to the warden. The prisoners now made a plan to takeover the jail from warden Winter’s rule. Irwin organizes a plot to throw the prison into chaos. His intent is to show a friend, Brigadier General Wheeler, the warden’s superior officer, that the warden is unfit and should be removed from command under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Their motive was to make Irwin the warden. The hostility kept growing between General Irwin and Colonel Winter. In one of the scenes, Winter ordered his soldiers to fire on General Irwin but they disobeyed his command.