Tuesday, 16 September 2014

American Beauty Representation

Representation about Lester Burnham

  • He says he used to be happy this suggests that he is not content with how his life turned out.
  • He dislikes his wife, we know this as he talks about her in a negative way.
  • When sitting in the car he is slouched against the window falling asleep, this suggests that he has poor posture and does not get enough sleep.
  • The stereotypical husband and wife roles have reversed we see this by the way his wife stands next to the car and that she is telling him to hurry up whereas stereotypical the wife is the one running late.
  • The way he is spoke to by his family suggest that he is not very well respected.
  • He masturbates in the shower and calls it the highlight of his day, which suggests that he does not have a very exciting life and that him and his wife do not have a very successful physical relationship. 


Non-diegetic sound is used for the Narrator as we can not see him although we can hear his voice. The voice of the narrator is Lester Burnham giving his views on his life, his voice is very monotone which suggests that he is happy with his life. Another non-diegetic sound is the background music, the music in the background is contrasting the mood of Lester Burnham, as he is quite sad and the  music is up beat. The music is quite repetitive this suggests that Lester Burnham's life is also repetitive. The diegetic sound in the opening scene is giving the audience a feel for how Lester's home life is.

Camera Work:

The camera work is done in a specific way to show how Lester feels about his life, it is shown as if he is imprisoned or trapped in his life. This is shown when Lester is in the shower and the four walls surround him and only a crack of light is shown to be shining through the window. Also when Lester's wife is talking to their next door neighbor and it shows Lester in the window looking distanced from his family and friends. It is shown again when Lester is sitting at his desk at work, the camera is cleverly placed in a way which the numbers on the screen look like bars and the reflection of Lester is behind them suggesting that Lester is imprisoned in his boring job.

Mise en scene:

The colour scheme in this film are plain such as the inside of Lester's bedroom which is beige, this suggests that Lester life is dull and boring. Also Lester's office work space is shown to have a boring colour scheme, this suggest that he does not have a very exciting life. One of the big colour schemes is that the colours red, white, and blue are shown in almost every scene, such as his office having red signs, a white computer, and blue scissors, which are the colours of the United States flag. The rose is significant to this as  it is shown on the daughters jumper and Lester's wife is shown picking them.

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