Saturday, October 16, 2010

Film Review- The Elephant Man


“I am not an Animal, I am a Man!”

The Elephant man is a beautiful heartwarming film based on a true story of Joseph Merrick who was the real elephant man. Director by David Lynch in 1980 the film looks at the life of Merrick and how he was treated.

Merrick was a 19th-century Englishman who was a victim of an extreme form of neurofibromatosis a disfiguring disease which causes tumors to grow within the layer of skin disfiguring his head and back. Merrick was trapped for years a part of a travelling freak show as the elephant man. Until he was discovered by Dr. Fredrick Treves who is able to free him form a never ending life of misery by admitting him into hospital. Merrick is a major find for Treves, although at first he does not realise just how important he really is then Merrick begins to communicate. Within time, it's all too clear that he's intelligent, sensitive, and above all only too aware of the life of shame that he had to endure for years.


“He was disfigured on the outside, beautiful on the inside.” Lynch made this film so well that you have actually feel admiration for Merrick at the end of the film. The way that he went thought it all loneliness, misery but he found he was through it and become a courageous man standing up to society.  Lynch made it so that you look at the inner beauty of Merrick because at the end of the day he was still a man.


For a film in 1980 lynch decided that this film would be filmed in black and white which made it so different to other films and adds to the story. “The black and white adds to the story in a way that touches the audience much deeper and much more personal.” The scene where Dr.Treves meets Merrick for the first time best displays this with the uses of dark and lighting for a dramatic effect.  We do not see Merrick until a little way into the film and but you do know that something is going to happen because of the use of gloomy music and the dark and light lighting.

“The Elephant Man uses some of the devices of the horror film, including ominous music, sudden cuts that shock, and hints of dark things to come, but it's a very benign horror film, one in which "the creature" is the pursued instead of the pursuer.” This wasn’t like all the rest of the film that we have watched they have been about the transformation itself form human to creature and the way that they are the pursuer. Were as the Elephant man is about how people react to the transformation and the way that he is being pursed instead of the one doing the pursuing. This film portrays this so well it looks at the feelings and emotional of the one being pursed.

This was such an emotional film that tugs at your heart strings when you watch it and I'm glad I was able to.

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