"American Beauty"- something we should take away from this film
There is something to be said about what beauty is and isn't.
It's interesting when you take away all the sexual innuendoes and sense of grit, not to mention the amount of creepy you can feel every time Ricky Fitts opens his mouth. But everything you need to understand what the writer, the director, everyone was trying to create. There's this amount of true sense in this film. Things we as humans take for granted every day because we're too blind by our own selfishness, and ignorance to see.
Do you know what you get if you type in the word "beauty" into the google images search engine? Thousands of pictures of women who have been airbrushed and layered in makeup to look unlike themselves to conform to what our society should deem beautiful.
These days we have become so obsessed obsessed with the way things should be. What we wear, how to style our hair, whether we should have breast implants or butt reductions. And don't get me wrong, of course I'm just in the same boat. However, I can appreciate the small things in life as well.
What do you see?
What do you feel or see when you look at this image and video? Nothing? Just rain falling on leaves, and a plastic bag getting tossed around by the wind? Or do you see the wonder of precipitation, clouds crying with droplets making leaves dark and wet. Can you practically feel how cold the water is? Do you see the leaves as beautiful? I know I do and it's not a farce. In fact I only just watched American Beauty for the first time and a lot of people would try to point out what is wrong with the film but truthfully they're simply in denial. When they (in the movie) watched the recording of the bag tossing around the wind, the first thing I thought was "Look at it dance". I think that's the difference between a lot of people. They simply see a plastic bag outside.
Of course now you have your symbolism in the film. Your color red. Which can stand for many things in this film. Lust, rage, ignorance, betrayal. But also beauty. What aren't truly seeing is what's hiding behind the color. The roses, which are always considered beautiful.
Lust is represented by the nail polish, the lipsticks, even the occasional rose petal.
But what our leading man says at the end of the film should resonate within everyone. He mentions he couldn't be mad, because how could he. For him it would be a waste of time simply because there were too many beautiful things in the world.
And you know what's truly fascinating about it is he went on this journey of self discovery before he realized it. It started when Ricky quit his job just because he didn't need it. When Lester quits his job he decides it doesn't have to be about what someone else wants. He puts things on his own terms. He goes back to food service, he had mentioned before he remembered it as a time that he had felt free. He began working out, at first because some young girl said he could be hot if he did but then he just did it for himself. Seeing his wife with another man confirmed his ideal of him not wanting to give a you know what about what his wife thought. And his wife happened to be a very selfish, very materialistic person and she represented what the rest of the population is like.
But in the moment when he himself almost had an affair. He realized that it wasn't him. Sitting there at the table hearing his daughter was in love and happy was probably the best news he could have received at that moment. I think he felt complete. And you know, it wasn't until his death when he saw his whole life in front of him did he realize what beauty truly is. And he said something so true. Most of of us will never know, until that moment comes for ourselves.