American Beauty – Movie Review
American Beauty – by its tittle, the movie was introduced by the director Sam Mendes to audiences in 1990s. After its release, the movie indicated and earned its position to be one of the genre of classic American cinema and a prodigious outcomes for the movie’s investment. This essay would serve and determine the specific script techniques in the movie for its main characters’ specific effects (McCormack, 2007). From this analysis, the conclusion would be surrounding and supporting the challenges and deconstruction on the identities of main characters in the movie. American Beauty was produced and depicted to the story teller of those Americans who struggled to control and monitor their destiny and fate, within the construction of dysfunctional domain and realm. The movie was written by Alan Ball on the dissection of American culture and functionalities within the community in all dimensions and levels as a portrait to life. The imposed images of characters under the description of Alan’s language revealed the typical stereotype of American culture, while at the same time, slowly exposed and peeled the prophecies and interpretation of society on the suffering and distressing of its characters. The tittle implying the message of “beauty” emphasized on the hidden massage of despite life’s challenges, there is always “beauty”. This has created the hint of flamboyant cinematography for an epic and constructed story. For this analysis, the closer look would be on the two characters of Lester Burnham and Colonel Frank Fitts – the two fathers of the Burnham and Fitts. On the first place, those two characters were depicted and appeared to be in opposite polar with their personalities and backgrounds. Lester Burnham suffered from a mental disorder with disturbance of conduct and adjustment, who always consider himself to be dead already. On the other sides, Colonel Frank Fitts was the second main character who suffered from serious anger issues as well as internalized homophobia. They have their own matters and stressed in their lives with opposite methods of handling and resolving. One of them chose to act in reckless behaviors and actions in escaping his stresses, while on the other hands, the other one depended and protected himself from personal fear with military safeguard and management. These two characters would be utilized in the discussion on the subject matter of this essay with their challenges and deconstruction on their identities. The first character to be introduced and analyzed is Lester Burnham who introduced and presented himself as “My name is Lester Burnham… I am 42 years old; in less than a year I will be dead. Of course I dont know that yet, and in a way, I am dead already” (American Beauty, 1999). From the first scene of the movie, he was depicted his life in the suburb to be as easy and fulfilled as it can be in term of monetary and physical needs. However, the closer look up in term of the self-observation for the character’s feels and personalities, he appealed to have an “unhappy” life with the expression of bored and tired life. His tedium even expressed and manifested with his bittersweet and dull voice. His life reflected a monotonous rhythm of everyday repeated and copied routines and actions. The boredom is reflection of the desperation of his life. This would be the root cause for the feelings of emptiness as well as desire of escaping. The intension of this depiction is on the ideal of how a moment of life can be just ordinary. This would all make sense of how Lester depicted himself in the first scene to be dead already in the course of life functionality and truly living. This presented and illustrated the real challenges in this character’s life and how it affected his personalities and identities. Then, the world of his own life turned upside down in the light of his job security and job stress. This has been a new construction and depiction to his character and reflection with the two catalyst of Angela and Ricky Fitts. The introduction of Angela is the reinforcement and aid of his daughter’s sexual active friend, while Ricky Fitts is his neighbor’s son. The sexual attract by Angela and the free and confidence of Ricky had impacted and advanced on the emotions and actions of Lester resulting into the active manifestation of his desires and wants in life to be truly living. The contribution of the twisted moment and change in the character’s life has significant contributed to the construction of his identity. Lester transformed from a man who were in an undesirably married relationship and a monotonous job to a man who enjoyed his freedom of self. He was at the dead-end of the taste of life with challenges to survive to everyday of life and changed to receive the taste of “beauty” of life or his meaning and worth of life in a form of imaginary involving Angela. However, in later scene of the movie, the reflection of this character with his realization of reality is that life “beauty” being more than just Angela. This depiction of his changes and transformation is also the attempt for the character to overcome the challenge of mid-life crisis and construct his real identity in the form of a social archetype. Colonel Frank Fitts – or Colonel is, on the other side, one of the main character with the portrait of a father who everyday struggled through his own challenges of life. He was constantly in rejection of who he was and his internalized homophobia given the background of his time serving in the military. It is easy to watcher to realize what type of man he is with the depiction and reveal of his haircut reminiscent on the first scene. Even with his internalized homophobia, he would not hide his questions and prejudice against the gay couple living couple houses away in the movie. His question and expression during the interaction of the couple indicate of how controlling he is to everything around him, even his family. Moreover, the denial of who he was is one of the critical and relevant theme of this character. During his lifetime, the boys are raised to conceal and hide their emotions and feelings to be “masculine” and be “a man” with the virtue of being emotionally strong, physical stiffness, and obedience to power and authority. From the understanding of his angle and conceal of true identity, it would be able to explain for his reactions in the movie, especially when his son kissed Lester and his son video of Lester. He revealed his anger and violence toward his son in a perception of confronting and telling himself of how he cannot be accepted to be homosexual. However, the outcomes and actions of Colonel deemed to be not fitted with the theme of challenges and construction of identity of the movie. It was presented with his challenges and struggles in life of a retired military man who was trying to prove its masculine and physical strength. As the consequence of his denial and misinterpretation, he actually murdered Lester. The perspectives of their dialogue between Colonel and his son were the key to understand the consecutive actions of him in response to his belief of his son being homosexual and involvement of Lester in this taboo sexual orientation. This has even revealed more to viewers in term of the identity of this characters on his choice of violent resolving his anger and confusion. Colonel was being presented constantly under distress and fear of around world and his true identity as a homophobia. Even at the end of the movie, he cannot expose and identify who he truly was with all of the denials and fears.

Get Your Essay

Cite this page

Main Characters’ Specific Effects And American Beauty. (May 31, 2021). Retrieved from