Pleasantville - Change Essay

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Pages: 6

The movie ‘‘Pleasantville’’, written, produced and directed by Gary Ross, approaches a period in America’s history which subsequent generations idealise as a better and more stable society. He portrays this time period of the 1950s as a time when people and life were less complicated; a time when everyone knew their place in society. However, as the film ironically shows, this was a time when people were more ignorant, racist and most certainly sexist. Ross demolishes this illusion of the great 1950s American society by showing how its defects are gradually changed from black and white to colour. Ross shows that ‘change is inevitable’ once a catalyst for change is added to the ordered life of “Pleasantville”. Once David and Mary-Sue begin …show more content…
By his late arrival, Bud has unwittingly awoken in Bill a desire for change; to do things differently. The director indicates the actions of Bud are unintentional as Bud remains in black and white until much later in the film. Bud remains happy in “Pleasantville” and although willing to point out any differences with his previous world, is not prepared to change the ‘‘Pleasantville’’ he knows so well. Bud’s attitude is graphically presented in the scene after the storm where only he remains in black and white sitting alone on the grass whilst all his teenage friends are now coloured. The confusion in his mind is presented after the ‘storm’ scene (01:22:00), where the audience sees him depressed and staring at the ‘black and white’ self in the pond surrounded by colour.
Within the movie ‘‘Pleasantville’’ there are two iconic scenes of change, the first is that of “Caught in the Storm” (01:20:00), where after the storm, colour is revealed in all those that have accepted change. This particular scene clearly splits the town in two, those that are colour and those that are not. This clearly suggests to the viewer that this movie is symbolic of the ‘racism’ nature of many Americans back in this time period. The second scene is that of “The Trial” (01:45:00), where the entire township step outside of the black and white ‘Courthouse’ into the now coloured main street of ‘‘Pleasantville’’. The music of this scene