Authors name withheld by request.
Tuesday night I went to my local Blockbuster Video in a quest to find the movie "Muriel's Wedding." I had heard from some of my friends that this was a really good film but I never got the opportunity to see it. I really knew very little about the film and proceeded to look for it under the drama section of the video store. After looking for about five minutes I asked one of the store employees where exactly I could find this movie. The young man very kindly directed me to the comedy section. I was puzzled that this was a comedy. My friend had described the movie to me and I though it sounded kind of sad. Boy did I feel dumb.
As I begin watching the movie I really did not find anything funny about it. The protagonist, Muriel, is at a friends wedding. She catches the bride's bouquet and this only amplifies her already present obsession with being a bride herself She is detained at the wedding and accused of stealing the dress she is wearing. In addition, she does not seem to fit in with any of her friends and other adults at the wedding find her a little disturbing. At this point in time it would seem that Muriel is either oblivious to all of this or she is in denial.
Muriel's self-concept is not very positive. She seems somewhat disconnected with reality and obviously lacks motivation. Muriel seems to dislike her father as she should. Muriel's father is mean to her and her siblings. He is on a power trip, probably because he is a not so successful councilman, he is also pushy and demeans her every chance he gets. He puts Muriel down by telling her to get a job and at the same time tells her that she has not had a job in two years and that the one she did have he got for her. Muriel is finally offered a job as a cosmetics saleswoman and her mother gives her a blank check to purchase the cosmetics to be resold at a profit.
At this point Muriel is devastated because her friends tell that they are going on vacation and that they do not want her around or to be her friend. Despite of this Muriel takes the blank check and goes on the same vacation. Muriel does not seem to be accepting of what her friends tell her and she follows them on their trip. Why does she humiliate herself in this way? Muriel is used to the experience of being humiliated and put down by her father. She does not know any different and this fits in perfectly with her self-concept. These type of experiences are what Muriel is familiar with.
Even though Muriel seems to have a very negative self-concept, which she acts out by stealing the dress and then stealing from her parents, there seems to be a little glimmer that she just might feel that she has some potential. Muriel meets an old friend from school on her trip and this friend accepts her just how she is. She even gets the courage up to do the talent show with her friend. In an intimate moment with her friend she admits that she sometimes feels like she's nothing. But while I watched I could not help but feel that she did not believe that one-hundred percent. After all, she went on the trip just to get back at her father and promised herself she would, "show him what she could do."
After the vacation Muriel decides that she cannot go back home, mainly due to fear because she stole the money from her father. She has also found a new confidence in herself, which she attributes to her friend, and decides to live in Sydney. Muriel has a brief conversation with her mother, who wants to believe with all her heart that Muriel is "good" and did notsteal the money, and decides that she does not want to be the Muriel from that town where she lives. Muriel decides to live in Sydney and be "Mariel". She wants to turn intonew person and forget her passed, she wants a new identity.
Yes, Muriel decides to be Mariel and adopt this new identity but she still obsesses about being a bride and takes it one step further by going to bridal shops, telling the attendants she is getting married, and taking pictures of herself to put in an album. The more Muriel does this the more she lies to everyone around her including her friend. In a sense Muriel was lying to herself also. Interestingly enough Muriel has a lot in common with her father as he lies a lot too in order to get to certain places in his political career. He also has an affair with another woman. "Mariel" tries to escape Muriel even more by fulfilling her final fantasy. The one fantasy that she feels will really transform her into the person she want to be, a bride. Muriel answers and ad in the newspaper and marries an Olympic swim team contender so he is able to stay in the country. She figures she is killing two birds with one stone. She is living her fantasy, getting paid a lot of money so she can pay her father back, and becoming someone's wife. This is similar to Karen Homey's "falsification of values" in that Muriel thinks is she is a bride and then a wife this is all that she will need. Muriel gets married to the swimmer and her parents are very happy, especially her father who is getting a lot of free press. At the same time Muriel alienates her friend that had helped her through her adjustment in Sydney. Her friend had since been confined to a wheelchair and was having and identity crisis of her own. She had gone from a lively, happy, sexually active woman to someone with cancer who can not walk.
Muriel's mother is at the supermarket, and like Muriel at the beginning of the film, gets arrested for taking a pair of sandals out of the store without paying for it. Muriel's mother seemed to be very lonely and unattached to reality herself Muriel's father had blamed the mother for Muriel stealing their money. Muriel and her mother seemed to have a lot in common as far as the ability to dissociate themselves from reality. When Muriel's father finds out that the mother did this he tells her he wants a divorce and is going to be with the person who he is having an affair with. This results in the death of Muriel's mother, a speculated suicide.
The death of the mother is devastating to all the children. Muriel has a final moment of enlightenment at her the mass for her mother. Muriel's father somehow get the prime minister of the country to write a letter giving his sympathy for his wife's death and he comments about the amount of press in the church. Muriel is disgusted by her fathers behavior and storms out in tears. Outside her husband is waiting and all of a sudden seems to care about her. Muriel asserts to herself that she is not like her father and does not ever want to be. After an intimate afternoon with her husband she also realizes that she does not love him and that she would like to stop lying forever. She no longer wants to be the ''Mariel'' she developed in Sydney. Muriel goes and finds her friend, the one who had helped her get some of the confidence to make it to where she was now. Muriel decides to help her friend find her identity (happiness), which is back in Sydney.
In a sense Muriel came full circle. She started off in Porpoise Spit, her home town, than fled to Sydney, then returned home when her mother passed away, only to end up in Sydney again. She ended up helping her friend who had helped her. She also helped her father realize some of the mistakes he had made with her and his children. She did this through the discovery of her real identity. Muriel no longer needed to be "Mariel". Muriel found herself, Muriel. She was always there hiding inside herself I think she probably just never knew she was there because she never looked inside. She was looking in another world, in her fantasies.
Muriel's Wedding Essay
Question: Choose a scene from your text and show through detailed analysis how the themes and characters are represented and shaped through cinematic techniques.
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English Formative 1 Media Study Task
The text Muriel's wedding directed by P.J Hogan shows an exciting rollercoaster ride of Muriel's life. One scene that is the most evident that Muriel is trying to change the way she lives her life and how she is trying to get over her depression is the waterloo scene. This scene is expressing how Muriel is living her life (Old Out Of Date, Boring, Haphazard, Piece Of Work) At the start of the scene Muriel is nervous and un shore of what she is doing up there. Then she gets the hang of it. Then she started to enjoy it. This is a replay of the hole text. At the start of the text she is all depressed and connately listens to ABBA ( her life is not as good as a song. The song is better then her life. She believes that she is nothing. She got kicked out of her little group. So she decided too follow them to the islands. Where she met up with a friend from high school Ronda. Then Ronda decide to enter the contest and Muriel decided to dance to the ABBA Song. This is her high point of her life.
In the Waterloo scene Rhonda & Muriel appear to be trying to dance & too be sexy. There performance was a crowd pleaser this is represented by all the men that we supposed to be with Tania and co. are standing up cheering on Ronda and Muriel. There cloths are tight and reveling for that age. They are trying to cause an disruption. This part of this scene makes you feel happy for Muriel. Because she has beaten Tania and co.
The audience responds with clapping and cheering. Along with singing with them. This provokes Tania to react to the performance with anger and jealousy. This is set off when the men that were supposed to be with her and her...
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