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"What's Eating Gilbert Grape" Film Review

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"What's Eating Gilbert Grape" Film Review The film "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," based on the novel by Peter Hedges, is an out of the ordinary middleweight observation of a dysfunctional, although regular family. The film has some touching scenes which take the audience away from the reoccurring humour of the Grapes' ways. Set in Endora, which is described as being "like dancing with no music," the most exciting thing that happens throughout the film is Arnie's 18th Birthday Party and the arrival of the "Burger Barn." Arnie, Gilbert's (Johnny Depp) mentally handicapped brother, always finds a way to escape Gilbert's watching eyes and climb up the tempting water tower. This is his way of getting in trouble with the cops, not shop lifting or drug dealing, but just exploring the local water tower. And when the police finally arrest him it causes his 500 pound mother (Darlene Cates) to leave the house after seven years and demand for her precious son back. ...read more.


This, used at the beginning, introduces us to the characters and the setting, Endora. At the end it lets us know where the characters end up and what they do. I think this is a bad technique in this film mainly because of the use of Gilbert's humdrum voice, which in a way warns the audience of the dullness that's to come. Hallstrom purposely chose the camera shots he uses throughout the film to give the film its homeliness. The recurring picture of the water tower in the background lets the audience appreciate Gilbert's responsibility. Gilbert's truck is also another frequent occurrence, which us see everyone in it, so we can observe their reactions and emotions to what is happening. This links to the camera shots through windows. These are also very common in the film and tie in with the "fly on the wall" technique, which is a favourite with reality T.V programs. ...read more.


A really important recurring point that is made throughout the film is when Arnie says "we're not going anywhere." In a way this is the key point of the whole film as only until the very end Gilbert has no choice but to stay in Endora and look after his mother and the rest of his family, unlike his older brother, Larry, who 'got away' and went to college. And now, the question, what actually is eating Gilbert Grape? Personally I think that it is all his responsibilities but mainly, not looking after Arnie as much as having the burden of his overweight mother sitting at home doing nothing, him having to care for her and his siblings, when really it should be the other way around. Although I really enjoyed watching this film many people didn't and have slated it in the past. I think it depends on your own personal taste in films and what you expect and want from a film. And whatever that may be I recommend you watch "What's Eating Gilbert Grape." ?? ?? ?? ?? Nicole Turley R10J ...read more.

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