Essay about Film Techniques in What's Eating Gilbert Grape

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"What's Eating Gilbert Grape?"
Film Techniques related to theme
Theme: Struggle and Hardship

In the film "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" directed by Lasse Hallstrom in 1993, one of the main ideas is that of struggle and hardship. This idea is significant to the film because it relates to each character in a different way, making the storyline more interesting. Three different techniques used by Lasse Hallstrom to illustrate the idea of struggle and hardship include Gilberts voice over, the extra close-ups of Bonnie as she climbs the stairs and the double up of dialogue, where Mrs Carver is talking to Gilbert, and Mr Carver is heard tying to entertain their children in background.

One character that suffers from struggle and hardship
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This technique relates to the idea of struggle and hardship, because it would be both a hardship for Gilbert to live in such a boring town, and a struggle to make a living where there is an apparent lack of people, meaning a lack of customers and money.

Another character that suffers from struggle and hardship is Bonnie Grape. Towards the end of the film, Bonnie, who is an obese woman and the mother of Gilbert, Arnie, Amy and Ellen, is seen struggling up the stairs to her bedroom. Lasse Hallstrom used extra close-up shots of her hands gripping the railing, her pained and determined face, and her feet on the steps. These shots had the purpose of indicating to the audience what a difficult task this was for her, and by focusing on her hands feet and face, they also helped to show how she was straining herself, because of her weight. This technique helps to show the idea of struggle and hardship, because her excess weight is a hardship she has had to deal with, and moving around, let alone climbing the stairs, is a definite struggle for her.

Two more characters that suffer from struggle and hardship in the film are Mr and Mrs Carver. This is shown through the double up of dialogue about three quarters of the way through the film, when Mrs Carver is talking to Gilbert about how upset he?d made her, and Mr Carver could be heard in the background, trying to entertain their children. This technique allows the audience to experience