American Beauty Essay

1191 Words5 Pages
American Beauty film analysis American Beauty a film directed by Sam Mendes, shares an uncomfortably real perspective into the lives of two American families. Mendes effectively deconstructs the fabricated illusion of the ‘American Dream’ by dissecting American Culture. He does this buy crafting a story around stereotypical characters and then scene by scene peeling away the layers of each character to produce a portrayal; of the reality of human lives – not the false one society has built. Through the use of film construction, Mendes conveys to the audience the unattainable reality of the American Dream. He also communicates his ideologies regarding conformity, happiness and most important of all – beauty. He comments and condemns society’s tendency to be narrow-minded when it comes to beauty and reveals that we should not conform to society’s perception of beauty as it does not exist- instead we should find our own happiness within ourselves. American Beauty does not seek to encourage social stereotypes; rather it attacks them for their limitations. In the film American Beauty, happiness exists as a myth, as a goal and as a disguise. Through the use of camera angles and position, the film critiques the self – repressing values of American society by showing the life of an unsatisfied, emasculated man, who tries to change his life by breaking out of the shackles that have held him captive by society. Mendes has utilised many high camera angles and long shots to highlight the inferiority and the helplessness of the main character Lester Burnham. This idea is reinforced in the scenes where Lester is hot behind the window railings in his house and even at work in front of his computer, the reflection of his face on the screen with lines running vertically and horizontally across the screen. This is deliberately done in order to represent a jail cell in which Lester

More about American Beauty Essay

Open Document