ORDINARY PEOPLE Movie Essay Research Paper In

ORDINARY PEOPLE; Movie Essay, Research Paper

In the film “ORDINARY PEOPLE” the complex relationship

types between the main character Conrad his parents and

psychiatrist not only portrays an example of a disfunctional

family but also conceals the in depth message of the

different elements that makes up a relationship. Although

the relationship examples of this film varies by type, but

these relationship all share the common elements such as the

level of trust, intimacy, attitude of verbal and non verbal

communications towards each other, which allows the audience

to determine the cause and effect of these different

elements in action in each of these different case.

Husbad and Wife

The relationship between the husband and wife seems

initially to be perfect. They both show each other

expressions of love. There is understanding, harmony,

financial security, and good communication between them.

The couple spends a lot of time together, discussing future

plans, and talking about the good moments they had in the

past. However, behind all of this positive interaction

between the two of them is something they are both not able

to face. The tragic loss of their son, Buck has caused a

great amount of pain and anger they are not expressing.

We can ask ourselves, is this really what these two

people were showing us? Is their relationship so perfect as

it appears in the beginning, or is there some deep dark

secret yet to be uncovered. The couple was an example of a

disfunctional family. True and honest communication among

the family members did not exist. The aspect of expressing

their real feelings never happened. The pain and sadness

they felt never came to the surface, even with the passing

of time.

The wife lived in denial, trying to live the life of a

perfect person unaffected by what had happened to her son

Buck. A certain image had to be upheld and everything else

was secondary. Even the love for her husband was not as

perfect as it was shown..She tries to keep these feelings

and memories of her lost son buried deep inside her. She

finds it very difficult to show any emotion concerning the

fact that one of her sons is never coming back. She tried

to portray an image of things being just perfect. The

reality was very different however.

After seeing a Psychiatrist, the husband started to

realize something was wrong, then began to question the

soundness of their relationship One of the saddest moments

for him was his son’s funeral. The husband remembered when

his wife forced him to change into a white shirt from a blue

one he had first chosen. The color of the shirt was not so

important at the time but that showed there was something

more serious happening with her. This aspect of the film

showed the huaband that she did not care very much for her

other son Conrad. Which caused him to realized the truth of

the imperfections in thier relationship to a bitter


Conrad and his Father

Conrad and his father, Calvin, had a very good and

strong trusting relationship.

Although Conrad was stubborn and didn’t want to speak of his

troubles, Calvin would keep trying and didn’t give up.

Calvin really cared for Conrad and wanted him to share his

feelings and emotions. For example, there were times when

Calvin would walk into Conrad’s room just to make sure he

was doing fine. Calvin not only showed his affections

nonverbally, he showed them verbally also. He wanted to see

his son back to life, back to who he was. When Conrad

finally decided to see the psychiatrist, Calvin was more

than glad to hear about it and to pay for the expenses.

Basically, what Conrad wanted, Calvin would give.

Their father and son relationship was difficult at

times because of all that happened in the past. However, to

make their relationship ongoing and as strong as possible,

Calvin would do anything for Conrad’s happiness. One of

Calvin’s biggest goal was to see Conrad enjoy his life.

Something as little as a smile or a conversation from Conrad

would make Calvin happy. Although their relationship had

nonverbal communications or silence at times, their feelings

were strong for one another and they knew that they could

count on each other. For instance, when Conrad covered his

head with a pillow crying, Calvin knew that talking would

not solve anything. Instead, Calvin would leave him alone

and talk to Conrad when Conrad felt like talking. They had

a common understanding for each other, and although there

was silence, Calvin would still try to understand and

respect what Conrad was going through. Their relationship

was built slowly, and became a very strong and unbreakable


Conrad and Dr. Burger

Conrad and Dr. Burger had a great relationship. Their

relationship surpassed whatever relationship he had with his

mom and maybe even the relationship with his dad. In the

beginning, Conrad was very reluctant in seeing Dr. Burger.

He was very nervous and uneasy at the thought of talking

about his feelings and thoughts with a total stranger.

During Conrad?s first session with Dr. Burger, he was very

uncomfortable and unresponsive. Conrad was very tense. The

answers he gave were very brief and blunt. Conrad wanted to

leave right away. It was like Dr. Burger had to keep

pushing Conrad just to talk and all Conrad had on his mind

was leaving the office as soon as possible. After a couple

of more sessions with Dr. Burger, Conrad became more

comfortable with his presence. Conrad started to learn to

open up, and he didn?t have a hard time telling Dr. Burger

anything. Trust between these two started to form, but it

was a slow process. Once trust was established, Conrad

spoke freely about his feelings and his thoughts. His

responses to Dr. Burger were longer and went into more

detail. Conrad looked very relaxed and at ease with him.

Dr. Burger didn?t need to push Conrad to open up because he

did it himself. Conrad started to listen to what Dr. Burger

said to him. Dr. Burger helped Conrad release some of his

anger and frustrations about his family and friends by just

being there to listen to him. No matter how Conrad spoke or

acted, Dr. Burger was there for him. Dr. Burger was the

only one Conrad really trusted. Conrad didn?t realize that

till his friend died. Dr. Burger was the first person

Conrad called to talk about it, and Dr. Burger didn?t even

hesitate to aid his problems. Conrad knew he found a friend

in Dr. Burger, and that Dr. Burger was a true friend.

Conrad And Mom

Conrad a very intelligent, deep thought, serious

person; suffering from major depression resulting from

Buck’s fatal accident: Conrad blames himself for

everybody’s problem and thus carrie false guilt….he felt

guilty for Buck’s death because Buck let go of the boat and

Conrad did not; he felt responsible his mother’s cold

behavior towards him. And initially felt guilt for Karen’s


Mother: she is very articulate with the falacy of

perfection; she does not discuss major issues at hand..She

would rather pretend everything is fine and move on with

life..She wants to portray to the world that she has a

perfect family, and they can handle any problems that occurr

within the family…however, when the family wants to talk

about the death of Buck, she somehow changes the subject.

Relationship between Conrad and Mother: Their

relationship is very distant; the only time they coverse

with one another, to discuss the things that Conrad has

done, such as swimming, school work etc., each time the

conversation between them would start to go a little deeper,

mother would leave the room. It appeared that mother

resented Conrad in many ways; I think she blamed him for

Buck’s death, and I think she resented him because he

survived and Buck did not…she obviously favored Buck over

Conrad…Also, I believe mother resented Conrad because he

tried to kill himself and was hospitalized…Not only did

this make the family look bad, but it also brought up the

grief of Buck’s death…The mother is a major controller and

when things do not go her way, she pretends they do not

exist and leaves the room. Mother did not give Conrad any

affection at all; when grandmother wanted to take picture

with Conrad and mother alone; mother became very disturb and

was very hesitant to stand next to Conrad. However, when

she had taken pictures with everyone else in the family, she

was very pleasant…Once in the movie Conrad hugged his

mother, but she did not respond. I believe this was

Conrad’s way of bringing the relationship back together

again. I believe mother was also very jealous of her

husband’s love and concern for Conrad. She was always

trying to get her gusband to go away on vacation, again to

run from the family’s problems…Conrad’s and mother’s

relationship was very distant, they could not connect with

one another, even though Conrad did attempt to connect with

his mother, but she would not permit it…It as if she just

wanted Conrad out of the picture, because he was making her


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