What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Topics: Mental disorder, English-language films, Film techniques Pages: 3 (993 words) Published: February 23, 2014
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape is a film, directed by Lasse Hallström it takes place in the monotonous town of Endora, Iowa where there’s not a whole lot to do. Gilbert is a young man who wants nothing more than to leave and pursue something bigger. Gilbert is tied down due to his family who he must help, as they are in quite a struggle as it is. Gilberts brother, Arnie is almost eighteen and suffers from a mental disability. Gilbert must constantly watch Arnie so as to make sure he does not get into any trouble, or cause trouble for anyone else. Arnie’s mother, Bonnie is morbidly obese and has continued to eat her pain away ever since her husband, committed suicide. Gilbert also has two sisters, Amy and Ellen. Amy helps her mother and Arnie as much as she can and is selflessly assisting them in any way she can. Ellen is a fifteen-year-old girl, generally too swept up in her adolescent social life to do next to anything to help out. The film uses a number of film techniques, such as: mise-en-scene, and a variety of long shots and close-ups.

Gilberts family and Gilbert himself especially are afflicted with many difficulties in their lives. Gilberts problems are everyone else’s, as they all affect him. When it comes to Gilberts mother, Bonnie the director uses a low-angle shot of her, this emphasises how large she is. Bonnie is also often shown eating unhealthy foods, and in one scene smoking a cigarette, also used to emphasise her lethargic nature. Bonnie’s troubles are not only physical, but mental as well, she eats to escape the pain of her deceased husband, and perhaps Arnie’s condition too. When Bonnie leaves the house for the first time in several years, she is stared and gawked at by the community, one man taking a photo. There is a close up on Bonnies face during this scene, this is done to show the audience that she attempts to remain strong and with dignity, however due to the closeness of the shot you are able to see the...
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