What begins as a documentary following the final tour of a dying magician - "The Amazing Johnathan" - becomes an unexpected and increasingly bizarre journey as the filmmaker struggles to separate truth from illusion.
The Amazing Johnathan,
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Watching this film, I was very pleased. Honestly, I did not expect the turn of events that the film decided to take. The film is centered around a character who is getting over his recent break up with his girlfriend.
To get over his ex-girlfriend, the main character decides to begin a gym regime. Initially he wasn't too sure about the gym routine, but as he began to see the changes his mind and body were going through he realizes that it was for the best. He soon finds a new love and realizes that he isn't a piece of sh*t anymore after a year.
This Oscar winning film is probably one of the greatest short films that I've seen. This film maker hasn't made another film recently, but is planning on producing a TV show soon. The film was based on an essay on the same subject, but after reading the essay, I realized that the film's adaptation was very tasteful. The film adds much more to the essay than you would expect a film to do. I honestly haven't seen many other films in this style, but compared to the shorts that we have seen in class, this one was much better.
It was much better for several reasons. The cinematography of this film was captivating because most of it was shot from his view, while other scenes were filmed from a 3rd person observer view. Most of these shots gave us a deeper understanding about what the main character was thinking during the more interesting scenes. For example, when the main character is on top of the parking deck looking at the empty office buildings and is talking to Melisa. During that moment, we realize that he fell in love with this girl. She is everything that he wanted in a girlfriend that he didn't have in his last one.
Another scene that stood out was when his ex-girlfriend was parading her new boyfriend around work and all the main character could imagine was him having sex with his ex. This scene shows how he hadn't actually gotten over his ex-girlfriend at this point in time. He was still trying to get over the fact that she had moved on and he hadn't. This in turn becomes a major motivator for him to work harder to reach his goals.
A major reason why this film was so enjoyable was because of its plot. It kept you engaged through comedy. If the same story was being told without the comedic relief that the film employed, then I believe that we would have a hard time enjoying the movie. However, there was only a single character that arced during the film. The main character was the only character that we truly knew anything about, and he was the only one who arced. I believe that this was a meaningful and useful employment of the lack of development of other characters. The other characters in this film only existed to create conflict with the main character.
Overall, I believe that there were two social commentaries that this film was trying to convey. The first being that good things only come through hard work and perseverance. Throughout the film, the main character considers himself to be a piece of sh*t, but after an entire year he realizes how different he is at the end. His hard work and perseverance is what was needed to make him understand that he isn't sh*t anymore, he is happy and beautiful.
His thoughts about being beautiful stem from his ex. She essentially was the motivation for him to begin going to the gym. He believed that she was the most beautiful woman that he would ever be able to be with and he needed to redeem himself in her eyes so that she would get back with him. However, as he continued to put in work at the gym, his vision of beauty changed. The moment when his ex called him in the middle of the night and he decided not to answer was because he no longer believed that she was the kind of beauty that he was yearning for.
Melisa became his new ideal beauty. When he looks out at the lights and only sees empty office spaces, but she sees people's lives. She is everything that he was missing in his life. After that moment, he is truly the changed man. The next day he sees that a year has passed and how much he has done to change to become who he is today. As soon as he steps in the sh*t, he realizes he isn't sh*t anymore. So much has changed to make the difference in the type of person he has become.
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