Film Critique Essay, Research Paper
The film Death of a Salesman is a movie about the way people try to live in the past instead of the future. This is brought about within the character Willy and the delusions of the past that he relives day in and day out. Willy fails to live the majority of his life in the present. Just as this movie fails to provide an interesting story and characters that are likeable.
The setting of this story is New York City around the 1950 s, and is seen through the eyes of the third person, the movie watcher. The film consists of a series of scenes in which Willy, the father to Biff and Harold, interacts with others while trying to keep his job as a salesman. While the whole time he keeps reliving the past in a series of daydreams that seem to last for long periods of time. The movie moves forward after Willy comes home and starts rambling on with his wife. After this he goes into one of many daydreams where he is reliving the good times in the past. His sons are in town and Willy is bothered with his eldest son Biff, who can t hold a job because he is a kleptomaniac, because he thinks that Biff keeps leaving his jobs because he is trying to spite him. The movie moves on after one too many flashbacks and Willy loses his job. His neighbor, who has been giving him $50 a week for a long period of time, offers him a job and Willy refuses because he insists that things are in tip top shape. Later on, after more flashbacks, Willy finds out that Biff doesn t hate him and isn t spiting him every time he loses a job. After everything is resolved between father and son Willy, for no reason that I can see, gets into his car and crashes into a tree killing himself. Therefore causing the death of a salesman.
Good movies come in many genres and in different languages, but Death of a Salesman is not one of them. A good movie has to consist of a few different things: comedic relief, a storyline that doesn t annoy the viewer, and characters that people can relate to. Without comedic relief the viewer can t get completely submersed into the film because the suspense, or drama, has been going on for so long without a break the viewer loses interest. If you have a storyline that doesn t draw out any emotion but annoyance then the film should not even be made. If the film was annoying then people are more inclined not to like it because they don t want to pay to be annoyed by a movie. One of the more important criteria for a good movie is that you have to create characters that people can relate to in some way. If people can t relate to the characters in some way then the movie will lack the power to draw people into it. If that happens then it won t be watched and will not even be worth watching.
In the film Death of a Salesman there is a severe lack of comedic relief. This could probably be the deciding factor in my judging this movie to be bad. The movie moves on and on about Willy and his crazy delusions and the sons that can never fully please him. And the comedic relief throughout this time period is almost nonexistent. The movie moves forward in the dramatic scenes with Willy and his delusions in public and private. While this is nice there is no break in the drama and thus causing me to become bored with the movie. While all of this is happening the movie is starting to become annoying, and it s not in the Monty Python kind of funny annoying. The film keeps showing Willy talking to himself in public while having his daydreams and how nobody tells him that he is hallucinating. This happens too many times. This could have been avoided if Biff had some courage to tell his father that he was muttering to himself and running around like a crazy person. Because this happens many times without resolution the film began to annoy me. When a movie becomes annoying people don t want to go and see it. Basically the film just replays Willy s flashbacks in a variety of scenes and doesn t really get anything accomplished except annoying yours truly. The other thing that influenced me to rate this movie as a bad one was the lack of relation to the characters. When a movie is put out that people can t seriously relate to they probably won t go and see it because it will be boring. The characters in this movie did not relate to me at all. Sure the director is trying to tell a story to people. But without the viewers being able to relate to at least one of the characters the movie is not good. I couldn t relate to Willy, Harold or Biff in any way at all. Willy is too crazy to live in today s society and if he did he might very well live in a mental institution. Harold was too fake for me to relate to. And finally Biff was a kleptomaniac and should have been in jail longer than he actually was. And since these characters don t actually follow society s rules then I find it very hard to relate to them in any sense.
In the end I did not like this movie and hope to never watch it again. It was lacking in many of the areas that are the foundations for a good movie. This is one of the few movies that actually annoyed me enough to the point that I will say that this movie is bad. If this is what the director of this film was aiming for then he/she has hit the nail right on the head. And if that is the case then this movie was excellent. Otherwise it will go into my category of bad movies.