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The movie “The Fisher King” directed by Terry Gilliam is about an egotistical shock jock named Jack Lucas who gave unhelpful advices and even insults listeners who calls his show in hope that the radio jockey would help them. However, Lucas’ call out on the last caller would haunt him as the news coverage caught his attention where the shock jock realize that what he have done led to the deaths of several people at the night club. Afterward, a guilt-ridden and unemployed Lucas was seen drinking whisky and became dazed as he tries to walk out of the room. Later in the movie, Lucas was out wandering in the middle of the rain during which he was mistaken for a homeless by a kid who gives him a toy. When Lucas encounters a group of hoodlums who beats him attempts to burn him to death, a homeless man named Parry comes along to save him. After driving the hoodlums away, Parry then introduces himself to Lucas and tells him about the quest in which he must find the Holy Grail.

This movie is about the characters’ quest to find what they were looking for. While the quest mentioned in the movie is about Parry’s attempt to find the Holy Grail, the real quest in the movie was in fact about Lucas’ journey to redeem himself. The incident that Lucas have indirectly caused by mocking the caller, driving him to shoot up the nightclub also resulted in the death of Parry’s wife. Lucas took it upon himself to help Parry find love that he lost in order to make up for the tragedy he helped caused. While Parry’s stated quest is to find the Holy Grail, he actually have two quests. One of his quests was to overcome the trauma he suffered due to death of his wife. As it is shown in the film, Parry would have flashbacks of the event in which his wife was killed in front of him and often times hallucinated, causing him to see a red knight trying to kill him. Parry’s other quest is to rediscover his new love after the said traumatizing incident. One of the main moments of the film is when Parry was stalking a woman named Lydia in the Grand Central Station. At that moment, Parry’s imagination is depicted as the people in the Grand Central Station starts dancing like they’re in a ballroom. Once everyone were done dancing, Parry’s imagination comes to an end as the people in the Grand Central Station stops and goes back to what they were doing.

As time went by, Lucas would help Parry by setting him up with Lydia but the attempt would become ruined as a result of the trauma Parry suffered as a result of the tragic death of his wife. At that point Lucas would give up on Parry until toward the end of the film when he gave the homeless a trophy as the Holy Grail (which he stole from the mansion in Upper East Side), thus helping him to complete his “quest”. This in turn helped Parry overcome his trauma, allowing Lucas to complete his quest as Parry rediscover his love and became together with Lydia. Lucas and Parry would become friends, demonstrating the development of characters in which the two have underwent and the lesson that is learned which is to help one another in times of need.

I enjoy the film as it demonstrates the how consequence of the action of one person can have on the other as shown in the beginning when Lucas mocked his listeners and refused to give out helpful advice, leading to one to go one a rampage which in turn affects Parry. Both Lucas and Parry each went through their own respective journeys to find what they needed. Lucas’ quest was to find redemption while Parry’s quest was to find salvation, both of which are connected to each other. Once their journey is finished, the two men became close as a family as they both went through changes that shaped them throughout the film. There’s even a symbolism as Lucas breaks into the mansion by scaling up several floors to bypass security, making it looked as if he was climbing into a castle to find the grail, helping to complete Parry’s quest and break him out of his trauma. The one part I don’t like the film aside from how the two thugs (the same whom Parry saved Lucas from) who attacked Parry were never seen getting their comeuppance. Makes you wonder if they got off scot-free as they were never heard from again after that scene. Overall, it’s a good film as it mixes humor and drama together with elements of a medieval theme. The ending is like a fairytale where things were resolved due to instances of adventures and risks (such as Lucas’ burglary mentioned earlier) where it is then capped off with fireworks, wrapping it up nicely.

4 stars out of 5

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Each movie must have a story that can be told in the context where the audience would know how the event begins and end. What movies basically have are certain parts where the story can be broken into three acts. How each act of the story starts and ends would depend on how the event in each of the parts would be set up. For this to happen, there must be a mechanism called the “instigating event” where the event is needed to set off the motion so the story can be established. Afterward, the movie would progress so the story can be told. The act ends with a major point of the story where the event makes a major impact on the character’s life. In other words, each acts ends with a plot point which helps separates one from the other.

The movie “Forrest Gump” which starred Tom Hanks will be used to demonstrate how the “act structure” works and the way the “instigating event” can be used to set off the plot as well. In the movie, the story begins when the titular character sat next to a woman at the bench waiting for the bus. At that point, the instigating event would happen when Forrest started to talk to the woman by introducing himself and begin telling her his life story. The life story comes in forms of series of flashbacks being shown in the way the events were played out with Forrest’s narrative telling us how he interpreted the said events. The flashbacks generally feature the changing times in the American history in which Forrest unwittingly started or become part of. The first act ends when the flashback covered the important part of Forrest’s life in which his mother dies. This is pivotal because at that point while the previous flashbacks would end each time with the listener leaving and replaced by another person, the particular listener at that scene would stay on to listen to Forrest’s story longer.

In the second act, the flashbacks were that same as those in the first act which covers Forrest’s life except this time it begins to center more on the character’s love interest, Jenny. While Jenny was prominent in the first act, it was in the second act where Forrest became more affected when she rejected him again, this time telling him that she isn’t the kind of woman he should be with. This indicates that Jenny was aware that she haven’t been living up to the kind of person in which Forrest seen her as. Even then, it became more personal when Forrest sensed that something was wrong and told Jenny upon knowing that he’s being turned down, “I’m not a smart man, but I know what love is.” From what I saw in this scene when Jenny left, Forrest was visibly heartbroken which caused him to run across the country in frustration. Eventually, as the act ends, the flashback was no longer shown for the rest of the movie as it focus on the present event in which would cover the ending of the story, thus begins the third act.

As the third act of the movie goes, there are no more flashbacks, just the final part of the story where Forrest finally got what he was looking for when Jenny accepts him. However, things became somewhat complicated when Forrest discovers that Jenny has a son and became horrified when she told him the kid is his. To make the matter worse, it turns out Jenny was dying which may factored in the reason why she finally accepts Forrest. In the end, there are closures in regards to some of the people Forrest met in the first two acts and his marriage with Jenny. Once it was over, the scene indicates how Forrest was ready to move on and take care of his son.

Content Analysis:

The movie can have messages in which interpretations would be made in regards to the subject matter. The contents can be analyzed in order to interpretate what the message could be to the viewer. I know there are political interpretations that have been made from the movie, “Forrest Gump” where people would accuse it of promoting conservative ideals because of how the title character succeeds while doing what he was told to do, contrasting Jenny who was considered much more liberal, leading to her eventual death. However, despite the fact that the interpretations may seem that way to some, my own interpretation of the movie is different. The reason is that from what I saw, the movie’s message may have been the blissful ignorance and the certain ideology in the mind of a certain individual during the changing times. As the movie have shown, Forrest generally maintains the same innocent mindset which can be shown when he misinterpreted the events that happened in his life. There’s also a scene in which Forrest would reject a prostitute because she smelled like cigarettes, unwittingly offending her in the process. When it comes to what went on, Forrest being who he is was unaware of the time in which he happens to live in. Despite that, Forrest still knows when something’s wrong at some cases including when Jenny rejected him, thus showing that there are points in which his mindset can be shaken, leading to his frustration. Not to mention the implication when Forrest learns about his son, the horrified reaction can be seen from his face which emits fear, causing Jenny to calm him down. This may have shown how one individual has a innocent view during the changing times, only to come to terms in the end as the person realize the change is something that couldn’t be run away from. In a way the movie does have a conservative message, but for a different reason however.

As the story goes, there are structures in which the event has to be set off in order to set up the plot point. The story can be separated into certain number of acts as the plot point marks the end of each act in order to separate them. Ultimately, analysis can be made in regards to the story in attempt to interpret what the message of the story might have been. In the end, when it comes to the structures and techniques used in the movie in order to tell the story and emit certain messages, it depends on how the film itself is being seen as the interpretations can vary amongst the members of the audience.

http://blogs.reuters.com/fanfare/2009/02/20/the-conservative-politics-of-forrest-gump/
http://www.edquillen.com/eq1995/19950507p.html
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109830/
http://american-studies-digest.blogspot.com/2010/12/forrest-gump.html
http://www.youtube.com/movie?v=EtYNngO7eq4&feature=mv_sr