Review Rhetorical Analysis

931 words - 4 pages

On October 23rd, 1998 Janet R. Maslin, an American journalist, best known for being a movie a book critic for The New York Times, wrote a review on the film Pleasantville. This film offers juxtaposition between two worlds: the life the characters desire and the life they actually have. David was an unhappy teen living with a promiscuous sister and a divorced mother in a very modern, almost unorganized household. Thus he viewed his life as one lacking structure and stability. David used the sitcom Pleasantville as a way to escape his reality and enter into a word of stability. Pleasantville depicted a life of perfection for him with an idealized image of a pleasurable life. In fact, almost immediately we see the juxtaposition of the current life versus the desired life when the film begins.
As Mrs. Maslin suggests in this film Gary Ross' vision of a ingenious fantasy of ''Pleasantville'' is portrayed well. One of the very first things the films opens with is David's mom on the phone discussing parental visitation rights. The camera then flashes to David who is very obviously living vicariously through the life of Bud, the son in the sitcom, and experiencing a sense of nostalgia for a place he has never been. David imagines himself in Bud's home with hot meals that await him as he awakens in the morning and returns home from school. Even as David and Jennifer attend school in their real lives, it appears that David still longs for the perfect place of security , and, again, lives vicariously through someone else. David watches and daydreams of the conversation he wishes to have with his crush. You see him observe a cool and popular kid talking to and asking his crush out on a date. David places himself in the interaction between his peer and his crush as the date is secured. He then walks away saddened by his misfortune and returns home to watch Pleasantville, where there is no such thing as the word "no", and no one is ever rejected, After dreaming and wishing to be a part of Pleasantville, David's wish is finally granted as he literally goes through the television and becomes Bud. David almost immediately realizes everything is not so pleasant in Pleasantville. There suddenly is a notion of a disruption in "paradise'. The knowledge of good and evil disrupts the ideal happiness in the community. There is a disturbance of happiness and David becomes aware that everything is not so "pleasant" and perfect.
The reviewer of this film feels Mr. Ross has great writing credit when it comes to films such as this one. I agree when she says this film exerts extraordinary technical demands. Indeed, much of the interest here is in watching how the black-and-white scenes (filmed on...

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