Carlito's Way is an amazing movie that is, in my opinion, really inspiring.
It starts out with a flashback shot, which in this case is more of a flash forward shot, of a gunshot, and then Carlito being wheeled away by paramedics and followed by a police officer, making the audience wonder about what role this scene plays in the overall film. Carlito then is shown looking up from the stretcher to a Caribbean vacation advertisement photograph, and the audience senses that Carlito desires to be there at that moment, instead of where he actually is, which is being treated by paramedics for an implied gunshot wound.
Next it cuts to a courtroom, and sets the date as 1975, which could mean that its in the future or the past, but it is still undetermined. Carlito's best friend and attorney, Kleinfield, is shown sitting beside Carlito in court. It is revealed that Carlito is getting his sentence overturned due to a legal technicality, which has been exploited by his friend Kleinfield. The District Attorney and prosecutors are furious, but Carlito is unbelievably grateful and joyful, having to only serve 5 years, of a 30 year sentence. Carlito then stands and speaks to the courtroom for a few minutes, after his lawyer suggests that the state at the very least, owes him that much for unjustly incarcerating him. Carlito also claims he is a changed man, and that "...it didn't take no thirty years like your honor thought, but only five." He also goes on to thank the District Attorney, Norwalk for "...making your tapes in an illegal fashion."
But unlike most cases, Carlito means what he says, he tries to stay clear of drugs, and violence, and sets his sights on relocating with his wife, as soon as he is able to make enough money to do so. But things are never that easy, and as much as he tries to leave his past behind, it always seems to catch up to him.
One of the reasons that this film is so inspiring is because it shows a very real issue in society, and stresses how important second chances can be. It also shows how, even though someone can try their best to stay clean, environmental factors sometimes become overwhelming, almost to the point where it seems like it's fate, and predetermined. This movie represents what you have to go through sometimes to reach your goals/ dreams, despite everything around you trying to bring you down.