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A Simple Plan Movie Review

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Autor:  anton  03 November 2010
Tags:  Simple,  Review
Words: 834   |   Pages: 4
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In A Simple Plan, director Sam Raimi delivers many emotionally effective scenes. He enhances each scene with vital, well placed filmmaking techniques. Raimi’s techniques include implementing direct dialogue and conflict, exploiting the special bond between two brothers, and the portrayal of greed in the wrong people. The scenes which this effectiveness is presented the strongest are Jacob’s talk with Hank in the car, Jacob’s death in the nature preserve, and the final burning of the money. These scenes would not have been as effective without the aforementioned techniques.

The first emotionally powerful scene is between Jacob and his brother Hank. We learn from their intimate discussion that Jacob is feeling lonesome and sad. Raimi makes us feel sad and depressed, sharing the same feelings as Jacob. Without these feelings of remorse for Jacob, the effectiveness of the final scene is not quite as emotionally powerful. Sam Raimi sets up each emotionally effective scene with one preceding it. Ultimately, we have these feelings because the director puts us in the shoes of Jacob. Obviously, he isn’t at a great point in his life. Jacob has just murdered two people, including his best friend. Jacob becomes fragile and his emotional state is shaky. We are then set up for the final scene with a touch of foreshadowing. Jacob subconsciously reveals that he has nothing to live for except the money which was eventually meaningless. He even wishes “somebody else had found that money”. Sam Raimi forces us to see the distinction that has come about between the two brothers. Jacob, who now has nothing, has a simple wish of a simple farm. Hank has everything Jacob wants, which is normality, but this is just not good enough for Hank and his family. Greed has driven these two brothers apart, which makes for a very emotional scene with the brothers.

The next and arguably most emotionally effective scene occurs in the nature preserve between the two brothers, following the deaths of Baxter and Carl. Again, Raimi narrows it down to direct dialogue and conflict between the two brothers. The bond that brothers share is played with, and adds effectiveness to each scene between them. Once Hank finally shoots Jacob, he sobs. He does this mainly because it’s his brother. Again, the viewer is thrown into the mix and gets the question of how he would act if he had to shoot his own sibling. Any murder committed takes a toll on your conscience, but when it’s somebody you have known and loved your whole life, that toll is magnified. Raimi set up an attachment between the viewers and each of the brothers, and once Jacob dies, this attachment causes us to feel like Hank, to an extent. At this point, the attachment is broken completely between the viewer and Hank, as his greed and utter disregard for every human life he has taken has become overwhelming.

The final scene which takes place after the climax is also very heart-wrenching. As unorthodox as at is for such an emotional scene to take place after the climax, Raimi pulls it off nicely. Again, he sets up direct conflict between Hank and his wife Sarah. In this scene, we finally see the money for the first time since the murders and lies began. Hank’s conscience and self portrayal of a greedy man has finally got to him, and rather than laundering the money or moving far away, he burns it once and for all. The most emotional part of this scene is seeing the money literally go up in flames. The murders, lies and planning were all for naught. Hank loses friends and family which seemed to be for his own benefit at the time, but in the end has nothing to show for it. Hank had what he wanted all along. “Simple things, really… A wife he loves, a decent job, friends and neighbors who like and respect him. And for a while there, without hardly even realizing it, I had all that. I was a happy man.” Sam Raimi made this scene all the more effective with his perfect shots of the money going up in flames, and having Sarah fighting and crying because of the potential loss of all the money that she felt she deserved.

The simplest things in life can and are often overlooked and taken for granted. Hank Mitchell and all the things he went through, shows this thoroughly and accurately. The desire for the American dream is pushed too far, and Raimi added all the necessary effects to make this film display that message in a loud, clear message. The direct dialogue and conflict, the special bond between two brothers, and the portrayal of greed in the wrong people are clear and concise techniques that are implemented well by the director and they complement A Simple Plan in a perfect manner.

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