John Q is an emotionally-packed movie that surrounds the unfortunate medical circumstances of John, played by Denzel Washington, and his son. The purpose of the film was to raise the many issues surrounding poor health care in the United States, and even less empathy from hospital administration and insurance companies. After John’s son collapses at a baseball game, the doctors diagnose him as having a heart that is too large for his body and declare that he must receive an immediate transplant to survive. Quickly, the hospital administration informs John that his insurance plan does not cover such an operation and an immediate payment of $100,000 must be made just to get his son’s name on the donor list. There are multiple issues surrounding the problems of John and his family, and through the use of cinematic techniques the director, Nick Cassavetes, brings these issues to life and sparks a national discussion on health care.

The movie contains multiple scenes of close-up camera shots, highly emotional scenes and the use of poignant music to emphasize the heightened emotions of the situation. In many scenes where John is speaking with his sick son, the camera is zoomed in to show the particular facial expressions of the characters. As the actors and actresses begin to shed emotional tears of fear and joy, the audience is able to experience the heightened emotional pull on the importance of the scene. The quality actors are able to act in a way that makes the audience believe in the magnitude of the situation. Washington convinces viewers as he immerses himself in the role and communicates an exceptional believability through communicating with the doctors, administrators and even his own wife. Finally, the director utilizes the power of music to express the heightened emotions surrounding the situation. For instance, in the first scene classical music is playing in the car of a woman as she performs dangerous turns in her car while driving.

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