CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ESSAY

Representations of mental disorders

In media

 

 

In modern day Britain, mental health is represented in

 

Lacuna

In our film, our character is shown to be suffering from some mental illness as well as sadness or depression. He is depicted in suicidal and self destructive states, one example of this is the shots of him hanging from the noose. Our character comes to such a low point in his life that he contemplates suicide. The film has no dialogue or even a coherent narrative, so we have no idea what events have brought our character to be in his current state. This adds to the abstract nature of the film, as it makes the audience think more about the situation. This can also be seen as a representation of how these issues are in the real world. Many times with issues such as depression or suicidal thoughts, it will be difficult for non sufferers to understand. People may also have misconceptions about depressed people. These misconceptions can be caused by an array of influences. One of which is the media. Mentally ill people can often be portrayed very stereotypically in films or TV.

 

A beautiful Mind(2001)

 

A Beautiful Mind was inspired by the 1998 book of the same name, written by Sylvia Nasar. The book was based on the life of mathematician John Nash. The film shows his struggles with schizophrenia. He is shown to be a genius, but quite arrogant and overconfident in his abilities. In one scene, he is stressing to his wife and Dr. Rosen that he can come up with a mathematical solution to cure his schizophrenia. Dr. Rosen states that john cannot solve this particular problem with maths, and that medication is the only solution. This angers John. John is also shown to be quite confused a lot of the time, and frequently imagines things that aren’t real. During the scene where he becomes angered during his conversation with Dr. Rosen, he imagines the sounds that a baby makes. He asks if the sounds are coming from his baby son, his wife then assures him that the baby is at her mother’s house. The sounds were a complete figment of his imagination. The noises were coming from the young niece of his friend Charles. Overall, “A Beautiful Mind” portrays mentally ill people(John Nash with schizophrenia) rather accurately. Some events in the film have been over embellished, but that is more for the purpose of story telling, rather than stigmatising mentally ill people or creating an inacurate impression of his condition.

 

 

 

 

The machinist(2004)

 

The Machinist explores the story of a man (Trevor) who works as a lathe operator. He has severe insomnia. He has not slept in a year; this has caused his body to wither away. His co-workers do not trust or associate with him due to him being very unfocused in life. He is portrayed as a very delusional, angry, and paranoid person. He is shown to see things that are not there. In one scene he is looking at a picture of two men, he is sure to himself that one of the men is someone significant from his past. He also states that people do not believe the man exists, but he claims that the picture is proof of his existence.  However, his friend tells him that he is actually the man in the picture. This angers Trevor, causing him to shout and be abusive towards his friend. Overall, Trevor is depicted as a very troubled person.

 

Fight Club(1999)

 

Fight Club follows the story of an unnamed narrator, an average guy played by Edward Norton, and a soap maker played by Brad Pitt. One of the main themes of the film is the narrator’s assumed disorder. It is assumed that the narrator has multiple personality disorder, causing them to create the character of Tyler Durden. Tyler is a very macho and confident character. He has a love of violence, and a strong desire to work against the capitalist status quo. This leads the audience to believe that the person that created Tyler may have been somewhat weak. Sufferers of multiple personality often develop split personalities due to abuse or some unpleasant experience early in life. They develop these personalities that never suffered these experiences as a way of escaping them.

 

He is also shown touching the black wall. This is metaphorical, the wall represents the darkest side of the character. His willingness to touch the wall demonstrates his flirtations with suicide.

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