White Balloon

Daily Journal of Mahaan, an Iranian-American student residing in USA.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

American Beauty

After years I re-watched American Beauty. Last time I watched it with Reyhan at school theater while we were struggling with shaping our new state of relationship. And this time under the influence of Percy's The Moviegoer, I'm going through a slow period of self exploration. So no wonder that I sympathize with American Beauty's main character (Lester).

With no doubt, American Beauty is one of the most intelligent Hollywood production of the recent decades. The movie digs into the depth of confused nuclear family structures in US. And the byproduct of this emotional chaos is a new young generation who has inherited a incomplete mixture of American dream values. Values that are acting contradictory upon top of each other. The new generation is unhappy and angry and it's not clear of what! Of too much of freedom and options? Of lack attention from parents? or facing a society that is obsessed with achievement and being extraordinary.

And It is quite interesting for me to see how my perception about this movie has changed over the years. I found it quite a pity that the ending of the movie is Lester's death. His redemption and achievement of existential humanism is so short (basically compressed in a magnificent subtle smile by Kevin Spacy right before ....).

Writing about such a great movie is not complete without mentioning Tomas Newman's music. For me American Beauty was an introduction to new genre of film music which was filled with delicacy and melodic simplicity. Something which was later extended By Newman and other composer's in works such as Erin Brokovich, 21 Grams and Crash.
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