Saturday, October 27, 2007

English Essay on Look Both Ways

Ok yay, second essay in a day (oh shit, it's 3am, not a day then...)

Umm... Hopefully this turned out better than the last one. Time limit still way out, I think I need to work on somehow getting rid of distractions while keeping the computer. Is that even possible? At least the word count is more reasonable now.

My quotes definitely need work... Had to force some into it, probably very obvious where I did too >.< class="MsoNormal">

Edit: Titles are FTW

Part 2

Look Both Ways shows that despite life’s trials, happiness is possible.’ Discuss.

Happiness is one of the main themes explored in Sarah Watt’s award winning film Look Both Ways. The concept of being happy is an abstract one in a film preoccupied with other more powerful and overshadowing themes such as death and fear. Every character in the film is exposed to some form of these ‘trials’, random chance events that have the power to destroy lives. Look Both Ways explores the possibility of characters maintaining happiness despite the events that seem to have the ability to destroy any reason to be happy, and ultimately take control of lives. Some such events that might prevent happiness in the film include cancer, fatal accidents and deaths of those close to us, as well as the wider implications and people affected by each of these events, some perhaps not first-hand. However, Look Both Ways is a film which proves that happiness is not based on the difficulty of life trials, but on the strength of the human spirit that ultimately dictates the possibility of happiness. This is shown through some of the key characters in the film: Meryl, Nick and Julia.

Meryl provides an excellent example of someone who has been traumatised by her experiences with death, especially in her family. Her father’s death left her floundering and disorientated, such that her own view of life and death became distorted and fatalistic, making trite comments such as “maybe it was meant to be”. Combined with the impact of watching a man get run over by a train in front of her, her mental health has severely been damaged, made evident by the flashes of paintings that signify her imagination, filled with morbid scenes of her own death played out in countless different scenarios. She is buffeted by these bouts of paranoia and fear and “seeing death everywhere”, unable to face the world without being plagued constantly by images of her own death. Meryl seems to be completely dominated by her fears, scarred from the loss she experienced. However, despite the dreary circumstances Meryl faces, Look Both Ways is a film about hope and victory. We are shown that happiness is not dependant so much on external forces beyond our control, but rather on the strength of the inner character. Meryl realises through a chain of events together with Nick, her coming to terms with the death of her father and the accident she witnessed depended upon her own true acceptance of her circumstances. Only upon her actual submission to the fact that “things just happen” could she finally begin to regain her happiness, signified by the final photomontage at the end of the film.

Nick is another main character in the film who is subjected to the powerful forces of random events, termed life’s trials. After he was diagnosed with cancer on Friday, in response to his legitimate question “How long do I have?” he is told that “the specialist will see you on Monday”. Nick was left with nothing but his wandering, troubled mind, left to its own devices for an entire weekend, all the while harbouring the fear of this cancer that he has been told he has contracted.. After the sentence was passed by the doctor, unhealthy “speculation” is the only thing he has left to do, waiting impending doom. Happiness is probably the last thing on Nick’s mind at this stage, as his preoccupations and fears about cancer all billow out and take control over his mind, will and emotions. Despite this, the end of the film and the cathartic rain that falls symbolises hope, and Nick finally learns what it means to depend on the “light to show us the next footstep”. Nick eventually realises that he cannot fight the cancer, “then there’ll be more I don’t know”, and so in finally letting go of this inhibiting burden, and “face his own death”, he is able to take up happiness again, once again evident from the photomontage at the end of the film, where he even recovers from his cancer.

Julia is more of a peripheral character in the film; however her story ties in strongly with the centrifugal force of the film, the local train accident during which her husband perished. The loss of a loved one is a difficult one indeed, emphasised by the director in the extreme close-up shots of Julia’s face, showing the extent of the grief and devastation she experienced. In this sense, she is not dissimilar to Meryl, but they differ in their individual expressions of the grief they feel. The deep-set sorrow felt by Julia is something constantly referred to with film techniques throughout the film to alert readers as to the significance of this as a theme. After the initial shock of the death of her husband, Julia is approached by the train driver, who offers an apology in the form of a card. Julia is also offered a choice here, she could continue to dwell in her despair or accept what’s happened as unchangeable and random, and begin the journey to regaining her happiness, a door which the apology opened. Julia in exchange offered her forgiveness, freeing not only the train driver of his burden, but also of her own. By forgiving someone for the indirect loss of her spouse, she has already sown the seeds of redemption and happiness in her soul. Her husband’s death did not change, but what underwent the change to enable happiness to bloom again was her own mindset.

Ultimately, the characters in the film Look Both Ways learn that happiness is not necessarily something influenced totally by external events, but can also be engineered in them. Despite the rigorous trials of life, characters show that it is still possible to obtain true happiness independent of outward circumstances, proving that it is more a state of mind than an actual factor that they too cannot control. It can therefore be concluded that happiness is actually very much in the minds of people, able to be unearthed if it is called for by someone, regardless of their current situation, environment or difficulty they face.


David Jin said...

You missed English in the Tag.

"that happiness is not based on the difficulty of life trials, "


", her mental health has severely been damaged,"

All Your Base Are Belong To Us.

Other then that, it makes coherent logical sense, and seems to be backed up with evidence. Although. I do stress the fact that quoting single words from a Movie is umm. Yeah.

gee_cee0 said...

Lol! Yeah... Welcome to result of 3am essays...

I did warn about the quotes T.T

rare_ said...

nice essay.. can u help with any ov mine ill post them up.,.. read da blogz .. ty

jess_ said...


Neena said...

Good words.

Stooph said...

I think

ripped your essay.

Anonymous said...

The danger with doing character-based paragraphs is that your essay goes slightly on the storytelling and back-of-DVD-cover side. Mind you, it is mostly well written, but there are also some big errors.

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