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American Beauty Essay

By Leslie109 Apr 09, 2013 452 Words
Leslie Raygoza
Professor Chris
Fill Appreciation
American Beauty
American Beauty has a lot of interesting scenes that catches the watchers attention. This film is a comedy drama that tells the story of Lester and Carolyn Burnham and their daughter Jane, a stereotypical American family who have a beautiful home like a typical rich family would have. This creates the illusion that they have the perfect American family. Lester is facing a mid-life crisis. His life is meaningless because of a job he has had for more than ten years and his family seem to hate him. Lester feels Carolyn controls him and forces him to act happy. Carolyn is frustrated as she feels she has lost control of her life, and seems to obsess with everything appearing normal and orderly. Jane is a confused teenager who shows hatred towards her parents and rebels against them. She is angered by Lester when he first meets her friend, Angela, who is the stereotypical image of a beautiful American teenager, and Lester's lust for her begins. Jane then finds herself interested in her neighbor, Ricky, a young drug dealer. Ricky's father, the Colonel, a homophobic abusive ex-marine, and Barbara, his wife, a broken woman who seems beyond repair. The gay couple are the happiest and most normal characters in the film. Now here is where it gets twisted, despite being portrayed as wrong and un-normal by the Colonel because of their sexuality; who he thinks his son and Lester have sexual attention. I think the director uses contrasting colors and mise-en-scene in this film to successfully convey to the audience certain feelings such as love and danger, and to reveal each characters personalities and feelings towards each other clearly. Mise-en-scene creates symbolism to further the audiences understanding of the characters feelings about their own lives and their relationships with each other, such as the roses symbolizing lust, power and danger and the front door, which is also red, symbolizing danger. Red and blue are seen a lot in the film and are used to symbolize certain features of the film. The color red is used in almost every single scene in the film and acts as a central theme to contrast the families, to show mood and theme, and to reveal each characters personalities and feelings. In the American culture, red is used to signify different emotions and images such as death, love, beauty, lust, power, hatred and danger. Lester shows lust for Angela, Carolyn shows hatred for Lester when he catches her cheating, Ricky sees beauty in Jane, Jane sees love in Ricky, Colonel shows death in Lester. The director really surprised me in this film.

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