Conflict In American Beauty

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American Beauty American Beauty was a film released in 1999, with actors Kevin Spacey as Lester, Annette Bening as Carolyn, and Thora Birch as Jane, portraying what seems to be the stereotypical suburban family. But in as the opening scene suggests with Jane saying she wants to kill her father, this family is anything but normal. The story portrays Lester Burnham, a 42 year old man, cope with his mid life crisis, and how it also affects the people around him. By using the parts of film such as; Again and Again, Aha moment, and Words of the Wiser, reveal conflicts, character developments, and symbols, that can lead to the theme that can be seen throughout the movie. These film techniques show symbolism, motifs and reveal conflicts that all…show more content…
An example in American Beauty was when Ricky said, “Never underestimate the power of denial.” Ricky is indirectly telling us how if people do not want to believe in something, it can be so powerful they may never accept a truth. Such as Ricky’s father hating homosexuals so much, but in reality, he has these feelings towards other men too. This is connected to the theme, because if people keep denying the beauty that they don’t want to see, they will never see it. The beauty that is everywhere around these people will never be seen due to this denial. Another example of this is at the end of the film, Lester reflects on his life and says, “You don’t understand what I’m saying I’m sure, but you will one day.” This is in reference to the beauty Lester has experience in the last moments in his life. Lesters character has completely advanced from a busy body totally involved in work, to someone that has experienced true beauty in the world. In this statement he tells how everyone will one day see the true beauty in the world, it just takes time to see it all. With this film device, conflict and character progression can be seen through the spoken words, and the theme of the film is…show more content…
Through the use of character progression, conflicts, symbols and motifs, the theme is presented to all of us throughout the film. By using the devices of Again and Again, Aha moment, and Words of the Wiser, we can analyze the moments in the film to see the overall message in the film. The rose petals symbolizing affection, the faces of characters revealing the past and the start of change, and the advice of those wiser than others resolving conflict, all these devices lead us to the theme of American Beauty. Director Sam Mendes was able to show us that beauty is everywhere through the midlife crisis of Lester Burnham by using literary devices, along with film techniques to develop the theme throughout the
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