American Beauty
                         By Olivia Roberts

2. Ricky is a puzzling figure in the movie. What is your view of his character and role in the film? How is this made clear to the viewer?

American Beauty illustrates ones strive towards happiness and beauty. Ricky, a puzzling figure, plays a significant role in the movie viewing beauty in the most unique and individual way. To get a deeper view of Ricky, we need to consider his role in the film, why he is made to be so perplexing and why the director has incorporated his character into the story.

Depicted as the ‘irregular’ boy next door, Ricky is an only child who isn’t afraid of what others may think and say about him. He sees right through people, judging them not on their physical appearance and features, but for their inner truth. Yet this is exactly what others do to Ricky. Since he dresses against the customs and captures the beauty of his life as he sees it through his camcorder, viewers and characters alike are automatically to think that he lacks normality. Despite this, however, we do in fact get to see some characters look past the outer layers, and actually get the time to know the real Ricky. Ricky becomes a guide, a character opening the eyes of others, if only slightly, to see what truly lies in front of them.

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Ricky’s view on life is far more in depth than the other characters in the film. He understands that underneath the clutter of visual beauty, is something so much more empowering. To distinguish real beauty, the kind that is usually unseen, the director has placed Ricky into the film. From the most obscure, and sometimes simple scenarios, Ricky is able to find splendour and happiness. While watching a recording of nothing but a plastic bag driven by a whirl of wind, he states it as:

“The most beautiful thing I have even filmed.”

In turn, he passes this ...

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