Monday, September 13, 2010
Amelie Textual Analysis
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.