While watching Beginners I saw many different elements in relationships with different characters. Oliver and his father, Oliver’s Parents, Oliver and his mother, Oliver and Anna and the dog. Oliver’s father preoccupies most of his memory. Although his father has passed Oliver, looks back on many different occasions that he has with his father. It seems like Oliver has accepted his father no matter what. Oliver’s father tells Oliver that he is gay and brings around his boyfriend. One image that sticks out in my mind is when Oliver is at the hospital with his father and Andy walks in. Andy kisses his father and Oliver is just staring. I think Oliver is realizing that his father is truly happy, finally able to be himself. Oliver’s mother and him seemed to have an interesting relationship as well. Specifically when she tells Oliver that he can go into his room and scream as loudly as he can and it will make him feel better, and the scene where she looks into his room and pretends to shoot him, saying bang your dead or something along those lines. Oliver and his mother seem to have a playful bond together. It was also interesting that the idea of you point ill drive followed Oliver into his relationship with Anna. It was almost like he saw some of his mothers qualities in Anna.
Anna and Oliver is the relationship that rather boggles my mind a little bit. The two of them meet at a party and Anna is not speaking. She calls Oliver and without talking Oliver manages to meet up with her. It seemed kind of weird that no matter what Anna was “saying” without verbally speaking, Oliver knew exactly what she was talking about, or appeared to know anyways. I thought for the longest time that she was unable to speak. I thought it was interesting through the role playing exercise when Anna and Oliver are on the phone and Anna is her dad and Oliver is Anna, Anna felt comfortable to open up about personal things affecting her life. Another interesting element was the dog. He had his own thoughts and feelings throughout the whole movie. It was also an interesting dynamic that Oliver seemed to understand the dogs thoughts, even though no actual talking was heard. The audience was given subtitles as a way into the mind of the dog, which he seemed to have an opinion about many things.
Oliver was a very melancholic character, which I think is because he is mourning. He rarely showed any emotion. When thinking of anything, even Anna. When thinking about his parents he started to write the “History of Sadness” which I thought was weird. Another interesting parallel was that his mother found out she was Jewish at the age of 13 and his father realized he was gay at the age of 13. For both of Oliver’s parents the age of 13 was an unforgettable time. Each one had their own negative experiences with their characteristics. His father for example had to hide the fact that he was gay because Homosexuality was considered a mental illness, and his mother was kicked off the swim team for being Jewish. It seemed like throughout the whole film Oliver has these flash backs to remember the times he had with both of his parents who were now dead, I think Anna was someone who could help fill a void inside of him.
Throughout the whole book, I found it important to recall information from previous sections to make sense of the information that was being thrown at me. I find it was pointless to really include background information about Joe and Mitch. I feel as though they each played a little role within the whole novel. At the end of Mitch’s chapter, we realize that he has the money that Angelique needs to get Simon out of jail. However, the whole point of his 50 something page chapter was pointless until the very last sentence when he explains that he has the money. Joe’s chapter as well was interesting. I could see the link more with Joe, I guess than I can with Mitch. I think the point is somewhat suggesting that although not everyone had a major role in the Simon situation each person is linked somehow. Joe is Sam’s dad, Anna’s husband. Simon has been unhealthy thinking about Anna when he hasn’t seen her for at least 10 years. Joe is the one who was supposed to pick up Sam and is seeing Angelique, Mitch works with Joe and also sees Angelique and now has money that she needs to help Simon. Angelique is seeing Joe, Mitch, and Simon she is somewhat responsible for Simon’s kidnapping. She didn’t question his reasoning for wanting to know all the personal details about Anna’s life. Alex I cannot stand. He is supposed to be the psychiatrist however; he is going through problems of his own but cannot seem to maintain a professional relationship with anyone. He drinks with Simon and later sleeps with his lawyer. I think it is very interesting that Alex, Simon and Angelique are hopeful that Anna will spin a story that suggests that she was having an affair with Simon, that could potentially end her already ruined marriage. Nevertheless I don’t think as a mother she believes Simon is mentally stable and would be willing to risk the safety of her child again when she had no idea that he would be the one to steal Sam after all these years.
Throw up: Simon’s parents do not really seem to want to help Simon. They have let him go for some time now. Instead of letting him get worse they should have intervened they knew he was living by himself unemployed. Alex as Simon’s psychiatrist should have seen warning signs and took actions to prevent and treat these symptoms instead of trying to fabricate a story that will set Simon free and not even allow him to understand what he did was wrong. I still have a hard time believing that Simon thinks he was wrong because he suggests more than once that he knew it would save Anna and Joe’s marriage. I also found it very disturbing that when Simon’s father finally visited him in prison and was telling the story of when Simon’s mother went to visit Anna all the unanswered questions that his Mother and Father had about Anna and Joe’s personal life Simon was able to answer for them without a sweat. I think Anna and Joe do need to pay more attention to Sam because Simon is right in only one instance, he did save Sam when he fell into the pool and the housekeeper was not watching. If Simon were not there then Sam would have died. While reading Angelique’s story I found her father very creepy. The way he was portrayed and described around young girls was eerie. I also have a problem with Alex because in the first chapter of the book where he is talking to Anna he is basically tearing apart her whole life and shoving it in front of her face, while he is trying to manipulate her into saving Simon. Trying to somehow make her believe that this could be her fault and Simon does not deserve this.