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Analysis of the Movie “Ordinary People” on Psychological Issues and Grief

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Added on  2023-04-26

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This paper analyzes the effect of the emotion, pain and anguish that Conrad goes through and try to interpret the same within the context of the plot of the movie “Ordinary People” which deals with three ordinary individuals in an extraordinary situation.

Analysis of the Movie “Ordinary People” on Psychological Issues and Grief

   Added on 2023-04-26

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Running head: “ORDINARY PEOPLE” ANALYSIS
“ORDINARY PEOPLE” ANALYSIS
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Analysis of the Movie “Ordinary People” on Psychological Issues and Grief_1
1“ORDINARY PEOPLE” ANALYSIS
The 1980's movie “Ordinary People” deals with three ordinary individuals in an
extraordinary situation. This piece of art is a creation of Robert Redford who dwells into the
issue of problematic relationships among three individuals and their expressional outburst in
terms of multiple emotions. This movie is based on the plot where a family loses their elder son
in a boat accident. All the characters of the movie centres on the death of the older son and
Conrad who is the younger brother are in deeper trouble than the rest of the family members
since he lived in the shadow of his brother. This movie develops the complexity of psychological
issues including grief and suicidal tendencies of Conrad in the later part of the film. This paper
will analyze the effect of the emotion, pain and anguish that Conrad goes through and try to
interpret the same within the context of the plot of the movie.
The movie depicts the pain and grief of Conrad where he tried to commit suicide soon
after the incident and spent days in the hospital. This expression of emotion is a natural outcome
of the incident he witnessed which made him believe that the death of Buck was due to his fault.
This character experiences extreme aversion to life since it is his belief that he is left with no
more motivation in life and there is no purpose left after the death of his elder brother. This kind
of situation arises among the children since their identities are always linked to their immediate
close individual (Maziade , 2017). Same with Conrad, his character was not complete without his
brother's presence in his life. This self-victimization of Conrad leads him towards decisions of
ending his life, and it is quite normal to take such steps when individuals are carried away by
Analysis of the Movie “Ordinary People” on Psychological Issues and Grief_2
2“ORDINARY PEOPLE” ANALYSIS
their emotions than their rational judgments, it may also happen among children whose
emotional faculties are not well developed and they tend to judge everything on the basis of their
experiences in life (Kaushik et al., 2016). The other two characters in the film, the father, Calvin
is concerned with the complex nature of the relationship he shares with his wife and the self-
victimization comes to play an important role here too since he believes that the nature of their
relationship in the family is due to the lack of communication in the family and especially with
his wife. It is important to note that the grief arising out of the father’s character is because of the
failure of a successful relationship that can bind the family together and it is due to this lack of
clarity in communication, guilt comes to play an important role here. This guilt along with the
health issues of the son creates anxiety to the father since he does not want to have the same kind
of childhood like his own where he was brought up in an orphanage. The last and the significant
character of the movie is the mother who is Beth. She is an expensively maintained lady who
spends most of her time socializing and trying to make the house an “ideal home”. She is a
depiction of the strong lady who even though bothered by the past, does not want to relive them
and tries to move on. This sort of behavior on the part of the mother is the source of the
complexity and conflict between Conrad and his mother.
Conrad suffers from mental illness and its attempt to hide the natural outburst of
emotions what creates the center of the problem. He has symptoms like keeping silence and not
being engaging in any kind of conversation even when the doctor tells him to communicate. The
Analysis of the Movie “Ordinary People” on Psychological Issues and Grief_3

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