Mental Health In Dahlia Analysis

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Relationships and Mental Health in Dahlia Dahlia is a beautifully animated film that explores being in a relationship against the backdrop of mental illness. The film opens with the female protagonist drawn in black and white—little dots zoom around her until one enters her head. The female sits in a beautiful flowered landscape by a river with her male lover—he hands her a flower then enters the nearby river, inviting her to join. She enters hesitantly at first then swims towards him. More white dots surround her and she begins to sink. The world becomes black and white for a moment until she rushes from the water, leaving her companion alone. He comes to comfort her as more white dots swarm. They go to sleep—two white dots enter her head and suddenly she is gone, consumed in a world of blackness while her companion looks for her above ground. He takes some pink seeds and plants them. The seeds bloom into a field of pink flowers. He reaches his hands below the surface and retrieves his lover, pulling her into an embrace in the field of flowers. He plucks one and presents it to her, as with the beginning of the film. They walk off together. Dahlia's unique animation style resembles an impressionist painting in motion—the filmmaker utilizes its abstract qualities to create…show more content…
In many respects it is hopeful. The protagonist has found a partner who can help pull her out of her mental health slumps. They walk off together in happiness. However, the image of him handing her a flower at both the beginning and end of the film also hints at a certain cyclical nature to the narrative. Through this lens, the ending is highly realistic, in that it does not suggest the protagonist is "cured" of her mental illness—there will continually be more struggles for the protagonist and her paramour. Rather, Dahlia teaches its viewer to appreciate and celebrate moments of happiness, even if they are ultimately

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