Essay on Communication Issues in Ordinary People Film

1367 Words6 Pages
Kara Vedros


The film “Ordinary People” is story about the Jarrett family, an upper middle class family living in the picture perfect suburb of Lake Forest, Illinois. The story begins shortly after the tragic and untimely death of the oldest son, Jordan (also referred to as Buck), who died in a boating accident, that his younger brother Conrad, survived. When a traumatic event such as this occurs some families unite and battle the grief and heartache together, as a unit, while others become emotionally isolated and detached from one another. This is the case for the Jarrett's. The depth of grief that each individual character is suffering is uncovered as the film progresses. This tale is
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Throughout the duration of this conversation it is evident by her short responses that Beth is not genuinely listening to what Conrad is saying and her body language shows her clear disinterest and anxiousness to exit the conversation. The lack of adequate communication between these two characters results in a shattered and distant relationship that leaves both Beth and Conrad in separate worlds of unspoken guilt and resentment toward one another that only grows stronger as time progresses. It is unclear if reason for Beth's resentment towards Conrad has stemmed from Buck's death or from the recent suicide attempt (or both), but her behavior towards her son shows her obvious distaste for him.
The relationship between Calvin and his wife Beth is also extremely strained. Calvin, a kind and loving father and husband, spends a large part of the film playing the role of referee between Conrad and his mother. Calvin tries so desperately to mend their relationship but Beth makes it very clear that she is unable and unwilling to forgive Conrad and refuses to talk about it. It is no secret that Calvin cares vary deeply for both his wife and his son however, Beth's cold and emotionless attitude and behavior begins to change his feelings about their marriage and the love he once had for his wife. Beth's refusal and or inability to express any emotions/feelings makes her unapproachable and to some
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