A black figure laying down is seen. Lamp turns on and light illuminates the room. The black figure is a boy. He lifts the sheets off his body and sits on his bed. Clock reveals it is 6:00 A.M. Boy exits his room to the bathroom and when he comes back he is dressed. His eyes are red and his face is pale and weary. He goes to the kitchen and makes a meal, however, he does not eat himself but rather wraps it in plastic. He takes the plate to another room and places it besides his mother on a table.
Boy exits his house and begins to walk. As he walks he coughs slightly, and his eyes are constantly shutting and opening. He arrives at school.
The bell rings. The boy goes to his first class and is greeted by his friends. They are enthusiastic and full of energy, but he is mopey and sluggish. Soon after everyone is seated, his eyes become more and more heavy until eventually they shut completely.
Voices are heard. The boy is nudged awake by another boy. His friend asks him for help with a problem. The teacher is too preoccupied with their life story to ask if their students understand the work. Despite the boy's lack of sleep the boy replies to his friend with a nod indicating a yes. Several other students are asleep in the class. The boy spends the rest of the class period aiding his friend.
The bell rings once more; it is now lunch. The boy rushes to a secluded area of the school. He slowly falls besides a wall and passes out. A minute later his watch beeps which wakes the boy. He recalls that he is supposed to be at a tutoring session in the library. He slowly rises against the wall and yawns. Then he walks to the library where he begins to help students with their studies.
The bell rings; school is over. The boy rushes out of his class. He starts to walk on the same street he walked on when he was going to school; he's going back home.
He opens the door. He is greeted by his little sibling who is nagging at him. He prepares a meal and watches as they eat. When they are done the boy takes the dish and washes it. After he walks back to his mother's room. The plate he made in the morning is half eaten. His mother wakes up. Her face reveals that she is ill. The boy gives her a hug and a kiss and walks back to the kitchen. He makes tea and walks back to his mother's room. She accepts the tea and drinks it after she swallows a pill.
A flashback reveals that the boy's mother is suffering from an unknown virus. The doctor's can't keep her in the hospital because she lacks insurance and because she is no longer working.
The boy looks to the other side of the bed. Something catches his eye. It is a photo. He looks at a picture of himself, his sibling, his mother, and what appears to be his father. The picture fades to reveal only himself, his sibling, and his mother.
The boy walks out outside to check the mailbox. He scurries through the mail hoping to find a special letter. It is unknown what that letter is, however. Rather the boy finds an envelope. The envelope reveals that it is a life insurance check directed to his mother which she receives because her husband died years prior to today.
The boy walks back into his house. He aids his sibling with their studies. Then he prepares dinner for his family, then washes the dishes, and finally does laundry for the household. When he finishes this he puts his mother and his sibling to bed. He walks to his room and turns on a light. The clock reveals it is 12:00 A.M. He begins his homework.
A year passes. The boy is seen. He is as tired as ever. His eyes are bloodshot red and his body looks thinner then before. He is seen going to his mailbox, but this time he has no hopeful look but rather a dismal look. He sees the usual envelopes and walks back towards his house. But suddenly, he brings up the envelopes to his face and shuffles through them once more. He opens one in a hurry. It is an acceptation letter from UC Berkeley that states he will have a fully paid scholarship.
He runs inside home. He tells his mother the good news. She seems to be doing better than before but she still appears feeble. Her eyes reveal that she is immeasurably content with the knowledge that her son will become a successful adult. However, soon the boy and mother are brought back to reality. They both realize that if the boy leave to college then no one will be able to take care of the mother and her daughter. Hope seems lost.
The following afternoon the phone rings. The boy picks up. His face turns from an upset expression into an ecstatic expression. The boy hangs up with tears streaming down from his eyes. He runs to his mother and informs her of the news. Her illness has been researched thoroughly and it now has a cure. In one week's time the mother will be as healthy as ever.
A year passes. The boy is seen walking. For every step he takes his smile becomes wider and wider. Tears flow down his cheeks -- tears of happiness. He walks into his house. The mother is thrilled to see her college son. She makes her family dinner. The boy starts to converse with his mother and his sibling about the college life and his studies at college. He is first in his class. Blackness fades in and the voices slowly fade out.
Monday, September 13, 2010
In the beginning of the story we learn how deprived Amelie was of an average childhood. She was trapped in her home and suffered from boredom and loneliness. Not only did she suffer from this but her fish did as well. So much that it became suicidal. This adds humor to the film as well as characterization to Amelie. By showing that the fish itself is suicidal because of the daily custom routine at home, the director implies that Amelie herself must be yearning for some friendship or excitement. This is why she makes an imaginary friend for herself.
In conjunction the imaginary friend and the suicidal fish add a sense of magical realism to the film. The director does this early on as means to foreshadow Amelie's future. Amelie's adulthood will be filled with excitement and unpredictability on a daily basis. Amelie's life will also be filled with these two elements in effect to the loneliness she dealt with at adolescence. This is proven again later on in the film when the Glass Man speaks of a young woman in his painting. Of course the woman is Amelie who was observed by the Glass Man when she was young. He tells her that he knows she never played with kids either when she was little:
The early characterization is a pathway that explains Amelie's irregularity as an adult, and the director does this majestically to elevate the audience's awareness of why Amelie becomes such a unique woman who loves to place herself in irregular scenarios. The director's clarity is one of his well-known talents that is shown throughout all of his films and it is seen in Amelie as proved by the early yet vivid characterization of Amelie.
The magical realism is presented again subtly. In the screen shot Amelie is seen looking at her audience because it something she likes to do while viewing movies. This habit seems odd, however, about four other peoples' habits are explained and this oddness doesn't seem so odd anymore. Rather it shows how the supposed "average" person is actual a unique person and that everyone in the world is different. I believe that it's magical that this director is the first person to exhibit the usual person in a manner that has never been presented before. Furthermore, these habits add to realism as well once it becomes clear that the habits can belong to any person. Therefore, this film isn't as far fetched as it may have appeared earlier in the story. However, throughout the director still applies his magical feeling to his film in several scenes. This is done to enforce Amelie's characterization since all of the wacky things occur in her own city and to whomever she thinks about. Furthermore, the magical feel forwards the plot in some cases and adds a Hollywood-esque feel to the movie.
The narration tells the audience that both Amelie and Nino longed for a brother or sister to play with. They long for this since both Amelie and Nino didn't have a chance to play with kids when they were young. Amelie couldn't because of her family, whereas Nino couldn't because everyone at his school bullied them. This back story of both of them foreshadows that they will both marry and finally have someone to share their life with and in turn diminish the loneliness they felt during childhood. It can be predetermined that this will occur since it is common knowledge that the director is making a classic Hollywood style movie in which everyone who deserves good fortune shall acquire it whereas anyone who is malignant shall receive punishment nearing the end of the movie.
Both Amelie and Nino suffered from a somewhat rough childhood but in the end they both got what they wanted -- each other. This reinforces the classical Hollywood ending of course and also supports the theme of justice in the film.
Throughout the film the story contains several subplots. There's the subplot of Amelie returning the box of memories to its rightful owner. Also the subplot of the marketplace owner torturing his young worker in a humiliating manner. Justice can be seen in both cases, however it is more predominant in the latter case. But in the first, the man who the box of memories belongs to was living in an empty and somewhat pitiful manner. However, once he receives his box, which is a symbol of his youth, he become jubilant and much more happy about his life and about living each day. Because of this, he starts to spend time with his nephew who in a way becomes his own apprentice. The uncle gives him the best piece of the clean chicken. For the last several years the uncle bought a new chicken once a week and took pleasure in cleaning it and eating every piece with happiness. But justice came in the form of him giving his nephew the best piece of the chicken since he relearned that happiness should start during youth and continue throughout the person's lifespan. If a parent or anyone doesn't provide a happy environment for their young companion or child then they will live with emptiness forever and will suffer. This is what happened to Amelie's dad who to his knowledge had a traveling gnome. The second example is the man from the marketplace. Amelie performs several mischievous acts upon him that severely irritate him and cause him to go insane. This is his justice for mistreating and constantly disrespecting his young worker.