The root of all evil An Analysis of Sam Mendes’s American Beauty


At the beginning of the movie, I thought it’s like the same old story of a guy, who have a dysfunctional family and doesn’t connect anymore with his loved ones. Lester played by Kevin Spacey, is a family guy who seems to be having a miserable life because he wants to do more that what he was doing in the film. He is easily manipulated by his wife, which I think adds up to his misery, and a daughter who hates him and doesn’t want to do anything with him. He then meet one of his daughter’s friend, a very sexy and charming teenager name Angela who literally woken him up for 20 years, and start having wet dreams about her. Then one night upon hearing the two girls chatting, he start to shape himself up and do work out. Meanwhile, a teenager boy Ricky, just moved into the house next to their’s and is filming the activities of her daughter Jane. He loves filming random stuffs that peeked his interests. Then one night he just filmed Jane walking out of her friend’s car and been doing so since then. He developed  feelings towards her that later on affects the whole story line. Jane’s mother Carolyn, is a real estate agent and is obviously discontented with her life with her husband and daughter.  Woman her age always want more and that just frustrates them even worse because they know they can’t have what they want. She then began an affair with another real estate guy, and obviously have more money than her husband. And to add insult to the injury, Lester got fired but then manage to get money from his boss for the controversies he knows about his company. He then acquired a job in a fast food restaurant, he did all that while on drugs, given to him by his new pal Ricky. In a party Lester and Ricky met and from then on been seeing each other for drugs. Ricky’s father Frank on the other hand, is an ex marine corps and is implementing military roles in their house. He requires Ricky to give a Urine Sample every 6 months to make sure he doesn’t use dope again. But without his knowledge, The urine sample his son has been giving him is other person’s piss. The romance between Jane and Ricky grew stronger throughout. They are filming together naked now, and even abruptly plan to kill Jane’s Father for the way he behave whenever her friend Angela come over. Eventually, Lester found out about his wife affair and manage to don’t care about it, literally. I think its a defense mechanism for his part to act out, and may be its the effect of the drugs but I think its one way of showing to the audience that finally the person who is easily manipulated and bullied can now stand up and firmly hold his ground. Then Frank saw his son and Lester in an insane circumstance and he thought that his son was gay, and invoke him to leave their house. Then, in a emotional state, he went next door and abruptly kiss Lester! who told him he has a wrong idea and ask him to leave. I think it’s been a traumatic experience for him to never got the chance to reveal who he really is. As an Ex-Marine he is expected to be tough, strong, can easily win into a fight and man enough to handle things. Ricky’s father is Gay and what’s tragic about it is, he himself didn’t accept that. In order for the society to accept you, you have to accept yourself first. Frank never get the chance to really know himself and because of that, he takes his frustrations to his son and couldn’t care less to his wife. You can never truly understand life, unless you understand who you are. After being evicted to their house, Ricky then asked Jane to come with him to New York which result to Jane and Angela having a fight. Angela then seeks comfort, and Lester is more than happy to oblige. Then when Lester was about to initiate Sex, Angela told him that it is her first time. In Angela’s case, she is beautiful and gorgeous but deep down she really feels ordinary. For her, she needs to act like a bitch and pretend that she don’t care to actually cover her weaknesses. She wants to find true love but because she thinks she’s beautiful enough, she has to uphold this reputation of sleeping with guys just for fun and proudly tell the “whole” experience to her friend Jane later. We must know that Insecurities and depression may be a minor thing when you first look at it, but it is the root of all evil. Anybody can have Insecurities about looks, abilities, and even traits. But once your insecurities gets the best of you everyday, then it can be an outlet of a more dangerous path not only for you, but for your loved ones. I think the movie is all about Insecurities, Depression and Frustration in life we never got the chance to spill! According to the World Health Organization, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Mental health is an integral part of this definition. Which means, you cannot be called healthy, if one of those components is not in good condition. Its all over the news right now that a daughter of a celebrity couple committed suicide. The girl is just 15 years old. What possibly be the reason of her committing suicide?  one of the possible reason is the above mentioned mental condition. You may look at her as a young child that have a bright future in showbiz but what you don’t know, is that she has a lot of issues in her life and really need to express all of it until it was too late. American Beauty is a classic work of art that serves as a reminder to each and everyone of us to slow down, take a sit and truly ask ourselves,who am i? because i truly believe that the first step of having a great and successful life someday, is grasping the very idea of your existence, accept your flaws and inhibitions, and most importantly, always ask God for guidance and peace of mind. The movie didn’t showcase the last yet most important thing of all, Religion. It’s hard living life without Almighty God. And I think may be that’s the main reason why they all have dysfunctional existence.


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