Analysis of The Life Aquatic
Growing up without a father can be challenging for the mother, child and father combined; and yet it happens every day to hundreds of families year after year. Some of these relationships are reconciled, though many are left with no hope. The film, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, is such a story. Steve Zissou never knew of his supposed son, Ned Plimpton, until 5 years prior to actually meeting him. These grown men meet under dismal circumstances for both parties and try to form some semblance of a relationship. I have experienced the hardships that growing up without a father can cause. And have also tried to repair that broken relationship, but it was to no prevail. Though it is not considered ideal, an intimate relationship can be achieved between an estranged father and child, but beginning that relationship on a poor foundation, while also being paired with incompetent communication can lead to both relational partners being left in awkward positions. Today, I would like to present how these two people try to form and move through the stages of an interpersonal father/son relationship, while struggling through language barriers, conflict and distorted perceptions. After the tragic loss of a beloved friend and a disastrous film opening, Zissou meets his supposed son, Ned Plimpton, where their short relationship begins. Still grieving the loss of his mother, Ned goes to meet his father whom he has only heard about from the media. Both are longing for companionship; a real motivation, as in O’Hair, behind people’s desire to form a relationship. And after only a few days of superficial communication, Zissou and Ned become more intimate disclosing themselves further informally to one another. Starting at initiation Zissou and Ned move through the stages of interpersonal relationships fairly accurately, though they do move into the intensification stage rather quickly. The night of meeting, Zissou invites Ned to join him and his...
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