Sunday, 17 October 2010


Director: David Lynch
  Producer: Jonathan Sanger
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller 

'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.'

The Elephant Man tells the true story of Jon Merick a severely deformed man in 19th century London. It was a journey into a man's tortured soul, a powerful commentary on human exploitation and a totally different way of perceiving metamorphosis. Unlike the rest of the films where metamorphosis was repulsive in this case it made me think what it would be like to be in his position-living a life full of humiliation  Merick was discovered in  a Victorian freakshow festival by a surgeon called Frederic Treves who was interested in his condition. It was actually very harsh how all these people were exposed and treated like animals by their 'owners'. As Treves examines him he discovers oversized deformities on his skull and considers them life threatening.

'Everyone needs to see this film. You will understand its powerful message and what is says about us as human beings.
This should be seen in schools.'

Merick's head was always covered as he was considered to be too shocking to show himself in public. I believe this way of thinking is very unfair because deformed or not he is still a human being and deserves to act and live like one too.

One day Merick was invited to Treves's  house were he met his wife Ann, and overwhelmed by his friends's love he breaks into tears and reveals to them his most precious procession: a photo of his mother. Later, Merick became very popular and  people began to visit him in his hospital room. Treves then started wondering if this kind of exposure is right or not.

One of his visitors was The  Princess of Wales. When she discovers Merick's inner beauty and kind soul she desires permanent care in the hospital and she arranges funds for him.

'Beautifully acted and photographed in absolutely gorgeous wide-screen black-and-white, the results are rarely less than stunning, despite the lapses into the melodramatic' 

 One night, a nightporter exploits Merick by arranging  a  'viewing' by local pub drinkers where he got badly abused and then got back to his owner's hands, Bytes.
In my point of view this was the most inhumane scene of the film.Merick was once again put on showwhere he was being beated badly and was in a very solid state. He then manages to escape with the help of his fellow freak show attractions. On his way back to London at Liverpool Station he was chased by angry people who were curious to see what was hiding under his hood. In his frustration he shouted:

                    'I AM NOT AN ANIMAL! I AM A HUMAN BEING! I AM.. A MAN!'

That was the point where I truly felt sorry for Merick but at the same time was angry at how he was treated even by strangers.The police then informed Treves they have found Merick and he was taken back to the hospital. He recovers from the severe shock but it was later diagnosed that his chronic respiratory problems were terminal .  Then the princess  upset by tragic news  she arranges an evening at the musical theatre as a treat. The same night he thanks everyone for their help and, by removing his pillows that allowed him to sleep in an upright position, he lies down and dies. For once he managed to sleep like a normal person and that was his first and last.  I believe in the end he forced himself to die as he couldn't withstand the ridicule and humiliation. Overall, the message of the film is how people by nature always firstly judge the appearance of somebody. But we need to look beyond someone's looks and discover what is hidden inside. We should not have so fixed about what is normawhat we  and give everyone a chance to show who they truly are.


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