Gilbert Grape

Topics: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mental retardation, What's Eating Gilbert Grape Pages: 5 (2135 words) Published: October 29, 2010
1.The characters and their relationships with on another are the driving force of the film ‘Whats eating Gilbert Grape’,and the reason why the film is considered a classic. Analyze 3 characters from the film and discuss their significance to the story. The Characters in ‘Whats eating Gilbert Grape’ made the film into the undying classic it is today. Without the interesting and authentic characters featured in this film,‘Whats eating Gilbert Grape’ would be as obscure and unheard of as Endora itself. Three characters that held great significance to the story were Gilbert,Arnie and Bonnie. Every one of these characters had a part in making this movie memorable and moving. Bonnie,Gilbert and Arnie belong to a dysfunctional family, a mother who is chronically obese, a mentally retarded teenager with the brain of a five year old and Gilbert the deeply depressed son; who was left behind to take care of the aftermath of his dad’s suicide. All of these characters held significance to the story of this film and their personalities, journeys and relationships added to this “Whats eating Gilbert Grape”. This film documents the journeys of all of these characters and how they are vehicles to the themes of moving on,caring,what society accepts and being trapped emotionally and geographically. Bonnie, Gilbert and Arnie make this film interesting without these three main characters ‘What’s eating Gilbert Grape’ would be a hollow shell of what it is today. This film is essentially about the identities and journeys of these characters. All of these characters have been brought down to a level so that viewers will fully accept them as real people, they would form relationships with in real life. The characters are not perfect or even close to perfect which is what essentially makes them human and relatable. Society seems to have a perfect mold of what we should look like physically and not one of the characters fit into that mould. Gilbert is portrayed by Swedish director, Lasse Halstrom, as a handsome yet unkept young man who should be at the pinnacle of his life, but instead, life just seems to be passing him by. Gilbert has a very negative outlook on Endora, his home town. During the start of the movie he states “Describing Endora is like dancing to no music”. All Gilbert wants to do is escape Endora and enjoy his life while he is still young but he is trapped there by his strong sense of responsibility for Arnie and his family. Gilbert spends most of his life earning enough money to feed his family and looking after Arnie. Gilbert doesn't really have a moment to spare and instead seeks refuge in a purely physical relationship with a frustrated house wife. Gilbert is a pacifist and he carries out his enormous responsibility as the breadwinner and caretaker of Arnie without so much as a complaint. However behind his sarcastic facade he has deeply repressed feelings of anger and discontent bottled up inside. At times during the movie you can see those feelings touch the surface. Gilbert’s repressed anger for his mother occurs because she has become a grotesque mockery of the woman she once was, and can no longer be a parent to Arnie. Consequently Gilbert must take up the role of being Arnie’s parent. His repressed anger comes out in short occurrences through the film; for instance when he lifted up a small boy to the window so he could gawk at Gilbert’s obese mother. Another example of his repressed anger is when he was describing his mother to Becky “ You ever seen a beached whale on television”? “Well, thats her, thats my mom”. Gilbert is the sworn protector of Arnie and would not let anything happen to him. Gilbert becomes enraged if anyone even touches Arnie so he just about explodes when his sister Ellen tackles Arnie to the ground trying to stop him climbing up the water tower. After the incident he muttered to himself a single mantra “You just don’t hurt Arnie”. However Gilbert, the protector, became the attacker, when he...
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