Monday, July 27, 2009

If PLEASANTVILLE turns out to be nice, why leave?

I had a pleasant evening. Watched the compendium of Pixar Short Films - awesome! Then watched PLEASANTVILLE.

Why doesn't this film get more love? The shots are beautiful. Dialogue is good. Story is good. The acting, especially Joan Allen and Jeff Daniels, is good.

My grammar aside, I wonder if the story is too heavy-handed.

Change is good. Embrace difference. Race relations (in a movie populated by 99.9% whites). And color. Does this movie just hit you over the head with it's message? Are the stylistic choices too predictable? Cinematography too formulaic? Perhaps, but what ever is the problem with a well-crafted movie?

At any rate, I do have one question for any PLEASANTVILLE people out there. Why does Bud/David (Tobey Maguire) leave Pleasantville after he has helped change it, for the better? Why wouldn't he want to stay there? Mary Sue/Jennifer (Reese Witherspoon) decides to stay. She likes this new Pleasantville better. Obviously, something calls Bud back to the current world, but what and why? He finally has a girlfriend Margaret (MarleyShelton), something he obviously wants as per the first color scene of the movie; he pretends to be asking out a girl at school. And he wants to leave Margaret and go back to reality?

When Bud does go back to reality as David, he comforts his divorced mother who has relationship problems of her own. This is the last scene before a short montage sequence of Pleasantville. This has to be the reason right? He returns for his mother. Bud was perhaps closest with his mother (Joan Allen) in Pleasantville or maybe they formed a bond throughout his time there and he wanted to share that with his real mother? I don't know.

Anybody have any thoughts on PLEASANTVILLE in general?

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