Sam Mendes’ darkly comedian portrayal of suburbia in his first film, American Beauty (1999) takes a hard examine what occurs while you’ve performed the American Dream most effective to realize that it isn’t enough. Lester, the movie’s anti-hero wakes up one morning deep in a mid lifestyles crisis and makes a decision that he wants something more than the existence he has carved out for himself and proceeds to search for that something and within the procedure, disrupts the lives of those around him, in particular his spouse Caroline. Through his use of color and surrealist elements, Mendes suggests how passionless and unhappy Caroline and Lester are of their apparently ideal world and the way actual happiness lies not in doing what is anticipated or in cloth goods but in locating the splendor in being actual to your self.
The shade red and roses are an image of ardor and choice and Mendes uses the mixture to symbolize the dearth of ardor and in flip the out of place goals within the person’s lives. Caroline, Lester’s spouse is a woman who on the outdoor appears to have all of it: a circle of relatives, a big residence, and a high-quality profession. But we quickly find out that nothing in Caroline’s global is best except for the red roses she takes incredible pleasure and care in growing.
These roses can be determined anywhere: lining the backyard, on end tables, the middle piece at the eating room table and even in the home she’s looking to promote. The roses represent the ardor that Caroline has misplaced for existence but cannot admit she now not has. She is a deeply unhappy girl who tries to masks that disappointment through projecting forth an image of perfection. She believes that if she thinks effective then the entirety could be okay. She listens to and recites day by day affirmations to herself to hold up her tremendous intellectual country. The reality of the matter is that she is in a loveless marriage, is estranged shape her infant and is in a profession she hates.
She envies and later desires the success (and interest) of her rival, the “Real Estate King” whose photo is portrayed by way of massive red signs and symptoms located in the yards of the houses he is promoting. She learns to form him that “In order to achieve success one should mission the image of fulfillment always.” Caroline’s roses are the embodiment of that concept considering that they’re the handiest issue in her existence that she is succeeding at and are as best as she pretends the rest of her life to be.
Lester realizes that his spouse’s roses are representative of the dearth of desire she has for him and their existence together. So, it isn’t always a surprise that his own out of place desires are represented by the very plant life that he loathes because they get all of the affection and interest he does no longer. As Lester begins to find his manner first through status as much as his spouse after which via quitting his job he starts offevolved an unhealthy delusion for his daughter’s teenage buddy, Angela.
These fantasies are very surrealist in nature and are some of the most stunning and demanding scenes in the film. Each of these breaks in truth feature Angela intimately worried with the roses: they’re coming out of her blouse or she is simplest included in roses or she is immersed in the bath this is full of rose petals. Lester uses this delusion as the only hope he has in his otherwise depressing existence. His desire for Angela spurs him to make life modifications that he believes will allow her to desire him and in the end make him happy. Lester finally learns that this fable is not the manner to his happiness, but using Caroline’s roses as a part of the lust he has for someone else turns the flower this is a consultant of his distress to considered one of energy and desire for Lester.
Mendes maintains to play with the subject matter of color in Caroline’s lifestyles as a way of displaying her sadness within the manner that she clothes. She is the handiest one of the principal characters this is brightly dressed. Most all people else within the movie may be found in muted hues: earth tones, grays, and blacks, however, Caroline can always be discovered in shade. Under her earth tone suit, she has on a vibrant pink slip. Her nightgown that she wears to bed is a mild blue.
Later in the film in a very comic moment at a power through at a fast food restaurant she can be discovered in a crimson healthy. Her choice to persuade the sector and herself that she is satisfied isn’t simply announcing or telling people she is happy however dressing satisfied as well. This obsession for projecting perfection even via her dress makes for poignant moments in the film as fact breaks via a satisfied veneer.
Caroline cries as she isn’t able to sell the house although she has on her red slip and her roses at the desk. She loses out on a second of closeness with her husband because of her attachment to cloth goods as she seems ideal in her blue dress and high heels. Her strive at locating happiness is lost as she’s stuck in a compromising state of affairs in her attractive pink match.
Throughout the movie, Caroline misses the reality that she isn’t always going to discover happiness in all of her stuff or on how pretty the photograph she tasks seems to be however best taking an honest have a look at herself and her existence will convey her the happiness she unearths so elusive. Her brightly colored apparel makes her stand out in the movie however also makes her unhappiness extra obvious.
Lester additionally tries to discover happiness in colorful cloth objects. He turns in his boring Camry for a fireplace pink 1970 Pontiac Firebird an automobile he is preferred given that he changed into a kid. He purchases and performs with a purple far off manage automobile, but unlike his spouse, his use of cloth items is a stepping-stone in seeking to figure out what’s going to make him satisfied, no longer as a manner to cover up his sadness. As the movie progresses Lester unearths attempting to find happiness out a facet of himself is pointless, that it begins from within. In the quit, it is not a brightly colored vehicle or fantasies of a younger woman that makes him happy however black and white recollections of his childhood, of his daughter of the early years along with his spouse that give him peace and happiness.