Analysis Of What's Eating Gilbert Grape

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As the camera zooms out slowly and we hear crickets chirping, we are introduced to the charming world of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. The film that many have come to love, along with its extremely famous actors, was released in 1993 in the United States and directed by Lasse Hallstrom. Endora, Iowa is the home of the Grape family. It’s a small, unchanging town where the main character Gilbert (Johnny Depp) feels trapped and death seems to be the only way out. Gilbert provides for his mother, sisters, and his autistic brother, Arnie (Leonardo Di Caprio). “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?” is in many ways illustrates both realistic and demeaning views of autism. Arnie is represented throughout the movie as a psychological burden to the Grape family,…show more content…
We are introduced to Gilbert and Arnie watching campers like they do every single year, however this would be different because the campers bring in the quirky beauty named Becky (Juliette Lewis). Gilbert’s mundane life consists of working at a grocery store and the rest of the time he is taking care of Arnie. Arnie is always causing trouble for Gilbert by climbing the town’s water tower repeatedly and having to be rescued by Gilbert. Becky sees Gilbert dealing with Arnie is intriguing, the next day she comes into the store Gilbert works in and he helps her get the groceries to her broken down camper. Over the course of the movie they become a pair, she challenges his life of having no dreams and shows him the fun in life. By the end of the movie her camper is fixed and she leaves, Gilbert’s mother is dead, and Gilbert and Arnie start a new life…show more content…
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape is one of the rare movies to not depict Arnie as a savant according to Douwne, “In movies, however, there are hardly any autistic characters not having savant skills.” (Douwe par. 13). In the movie Gilbert is left to take care of Arnie, watching him during the day until Gilbert bathes Arnie and tucks him into bed at night. However, the movie goes further showing us just how much Arnie needs Gilbert. The primary scene which shows Arnie as pathetic is when Gilbert leaves Arnie to bath himself, when Gilbert comes back home the next morning Arnie is as he left him, in the water facing
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