Disconnected In The Film 'Elephant' By Van Sant

1323 Words6 Pages
The prominent, consistent theme in the film Elephant is the idea of disconnection. Disconnection among teenagers, causing them to develop a distorted image of what is right and wrong in society. Elephant does not follow a linear, simply a cause and effect narrative. Much like Van Sant's use of offering the audience a potential motive, a trigger that could potentially cause kids to shoot others, but only later to completely disregard this. For example in an earlier scene the audience sees the two soon to be shooters, Alex and Eric, playing a violent video game together, where their objective is to shoot other characters (in the game). Watching the film we observe, questioning whether their motive, the absolute cause of their horrific actions,…show more content…
Van Sant conveys this message by showing how the two shooters, Alex and Eric, are playing violent video games and in later scenes where they kill students with no remorse, yet prior to the going to school that morning the two boys were in the shower kissing. Thus Van Sant’s displaying to the viewers that despite their violence Alex and Eric do in fact show humanity, affection for each other, therefore portraying that we cannot specify a potential killer by their lack of humanity. Ultimately conveys to the audience that the reasons why, much like the narrative style of Elephant, students who decide to shoot other fellow students does not follow in simple cause and effect terms, showing we must look at multiple factors in the teenagers lives. The film is so purposely ambiguous, there is no one decisive cause for their actions. The film title ‘Elephant’ is highly significant, as the elephant symbolises the cause for why the teenagers decided to shoot others alike. An elephant is simply too large, therefore it is unable to fit out of one door. Concluding, there is not one definitive answer that explains why students decide to kill other students, the cause has many
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