The Misunderstanding of a Mistaken Mind.
The psychological state of any human being is extremely complex and may never be fully understood. Two minds may overlap and have some similarities, but for the most part, every person’s mind is different, affected by their society’s discourse and their environment. The movie Paranoid Park, by Gus Van Sant exemplifies the accurate embodiment that real life has to offer. In the movie, the main character Alex must confront real life problems and surpass them. The most compelling part of the film was the idea of being or staying “buoyant;” the desire to maintain composure and overcome distress.
One of the most exceptional examples of buoyancy in the film is the skate-park, paranoid park, itself. Handfuls of rejected children end up practically living and surviving at Paranoid Park. The skate-park was the only place where they felt the emotions associated with a home, such as community, sympathy, and love. The only thing that had sustained the misfits was the feeling of weightlessness that the skateboard provided. The park symbolizes the buoyant force that carries all these hopeless children through their terrible life situations. The effect of the park on the children’s psychological states is seen through Alex’s character. Although Alex experiences his parents divorce and the accidental “murder” of the security guard, he still seems to keep his head afloat and withstand each predicament.
Though the skate-park is symbolized as a place of freedom and tranquility, almost an escape, it was also the main source of Alex’s anxiety. One lonely night, out of curiosity in his young, naive, teenage mind, Alex drove to the skate-park to just lull his constantly racing mind. He is approached by a repugnant drifter who asks to borrow his skateboard and in return would promise a “night full of adventure.” In that moment, Alex is to lose what little he has left of his identity, his skateboard, and receive a mind full or doubt...
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