American Beauty Film Essays

We again see conflicting attitude of True beauty through the plastic bag video recording from Ricky.

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This scene is a microcosm of the film itself as Ricky zooms past Angela, who we think and also society depicts as being beautiful and sexy, into the reflection of Jane’s face in the glass mirror, who is infidently embodying a rarer beautiful and interest.This scene also supports the ‘cell’ symbol as a sticker on Lestor’s bored says ‘Look Closer’, which is an ironical statement which is directed to the viewers.We see the director continually employing this symbolic technique of ‘jail cells’ to examine Lestor’s imprisonment from realization of true happiness, through the various cell settings.Throughout the film Lestor is subconsciously trapped behind jail cells which Mendes displays through setting, film techniques, and symbolism.In the beginning of the film we can see the various jail cells Lestor is subject to.This fine piece of filming explores an exquisite natural beauty as if the bag is dancing with joy in the wind, with the dead leaves almost depicting foot soldiers dancing around the bag.This Beauty would be regularly disregarded in a negative attitude among the depicted society, as a simply plastic bag blowing in the wind.Firstly, in the shower scene we see Lestor trapped behind glass walls.This symbolic glass wall is again used by Mendes in the following scene where Lestor is again trapped behind the glass windows in the house, a boundary which is caused by the nature of his materialistic wife Carolyn.In the next scene we again see Lestor in another jail cell while he is sleeping in the car.He is unaware he is in the car or jail cell as he is sleeping, while we see, through a low angle perspective shot, the outside world through the car window. We again see the director deliberately use Lestor’s computer screen as another jail cell, with numbers written in a column format.

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