Nathalie Dagmang Film 10 2010-24702

Reaction Paper on Elephant

The opening of the movie somehow gave me the impression that this would be a boring one. For almost half of the movie, the camera just followed one character after another. At first, I thought the objective of the movie was only to show highschool in the perspective of different kinds of personalities that we usually meet at this stage of our lives. I expected it to do this althroughout the movie and produce a typical highschool conflict like “love triangles”, popularity wars and the like. It was a surprise that of all the characters in the movie, Alex was the one who would be the catalyst of the plot’s conflict. He seemed like an insignificant character at first, even seemed too passive to cause such chaos to the school. In middle of the movie, he was shown with his roommate (Eric) to whom he appear to be most comfortable with (since both of them are being bullied at school). I didn’t expect that they would share a romantic affair (or maybe he was really just the only person he is close to so that he tended to be drawn this close to him. I concluded this when at the end of the movie, he decided to gun down Eric along with his other victims.) All throughout the story, characters of different levels of “superiority” (in terms of popularity) was introduced as they do what they usually do at school, without any idea of what would happen at that day: there was the popular jock and his girlfriend, three gossiping bulimic girls, the homosexuals, the geek and the “losers”. The “losers”, Eric and Alex, experienced the most bullying, hence the most insecurities. The way I saw it, the movie comments on what teenagers go through in highschool and how this affects their behavior. It shows how people in the community receive one another, how they treat each other according to personality/”superiority”, which eventually causes discrimination among the students. The state of each student somehow dictates how he/she will be treated at school, which in turn might produce a negative behavior and even might lead to violence.

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