Sam Mendes’ darkly comic portrayal of suburbia in his first film, American Beauty (1999) takes a tough have a look at what takes place when you’ve executed the American Dream handiest to realize that it isn’t sufficient. Lester, the movie’s anti-hero wakes up one morning deep in a mid-life crisis and comes to a decision that he needs something more than the existence he has carved out for himself and proceeds to look for that something and inside the method, disrupts the lives of those around him, particularly his wife Caroline. Through his use of shade and surrealist elements, Mendes suggests how passionless and unhappy Caroline and Lester are of their reputedly perfect world and the way true happiness lies not in doing what is expected or in cloth goods however in locating the beauty in being true to yourself.
The coloration purple and roses are a symbol of passion and preference and Mendes uses the combination to represent the shortage of ardor and in turn the misplaced dreams within the person’s lives. Caroline, Lester’s spouse is a lady who at the outside appears to have it all: a family, a large residence, and an outstanding profession. But we quickly discover that nothing in Caroline’s international is best besides for the pink roses she takes first-rate pleasure and care in growing.
These roses may be located everywhere: lining the backyard, on cease tables, the middle piece on the eating room desk and even in the home she’s seeking to sell. The roses constitute the passion that Caroline has misplaced for lifestyles but cannot admit she no longer has. She is a deeply sad girl who tries to mask that disappointment via projecting forth an image of perfection. She believes that if she thinks superb then everything might be ok. She listens to and recites each day affirmations to herself to preserve up her high-quality mental nation. The fact 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 dreams the success (and interest) of her rival, the “Real Estate King” whose photograph is portrayed through huge crimson signs placed inside the yards of the houses he’s selling. She learns to shape him that “In order to achieve success one should task the photograph of achievement at all times.” Caroline’s roses are the embodiment of that idea for the reason that they are the simplest element in her lifestyles that she is succeeding at and are as best as she pretends the rest of her lifestyles to be.
Lester realizes that his wife’s roses are a consultant of the shortage of preference she has for him and their lifestyles collectively. So, it isn’t always a wonder that his very own misplaced goals are represented with the aid of the very plant life that he loathes due to the fact they get all of the affection and interest he does now not. As Lester starts offevolved to find his manner first by means of status as much as his spouse and then through quitting his job he starts an bad fable for his daughter’s teenage buddy, Angela.
These fantasies are very surrealist in nature and are a number of the most stunning and disturbing scenes in the film. Each of those breaks in reality function Angela in detail involved with the roses: they may be coming out of her blouse or she is most effective covered in roses or she is immersed in the bathtub this is packed with rose petals. Lester makes use of this delusion as the simplest wish he has in his in any other case depressing life. His choice for Angela spurs him to make existence modifications that he believes will allow her to preference him and ultimately make him satisfied. Lester sooner or later learns that this delusion is not the manner to his happiness, yet the usage of Caroline’s roses as a part of the lust he has for a person else turns the flower it truly is representative of his distress to one in every of strength and desire for Lester.
Mendes keeps playing with the theme of color in Caroline’s existence as a method of displaying her sadness within the way that she dresses. She is the most effective one of the major characters that is brightly dressed. Most everybody else within the film can be located in muted hues: earth tones, grays, and blacks but Caroline can continually be found in color. Under her earth tone suit, she has on a vivid crimson slip. Her nightgown that she wears to bed is a mild blue.