1993: Who Is Eating Gilbert Grape

Over the seventeen years of life I have witnessed a trillion different genres of movies. Some you could say will go down in history, while others were forgotten as soon as I stepped out of the theater. There has been one movie I have always loved, even since my early childhood. Unlike other romances, Who Is Eating Gilbert Grape has always brought a tear in my eye. Director, Lasse Hallstrom, created a mastermind of a film in 1993. The film was jam packed with drama filled characters such as, Johnny Depp as Gilbert Grape, Leonardo Dicaprio as Arnie Grape, Darlene Cates as Bonnie Grape, and Juliet Luis as Becky. Lasse Hallstrom spent close to $11,000,000 on the movie budget while creating this film.

In the small town of Endora, Gilbert is stuck taking care of his mentally challenged younger brother, Arnie. Their mother, Bonnie, is severely obese due to depression from the suicide of her late husband. Due to her suffering, Gilbert has been the one to take care of their rusty farm home. Arnie isnít a simple character. He is full of mischief and energy. The mentally challenged child takes a twist in life threatening situations and shocking disappearances. His brother on the other hand, is living a steady life and is just trying to pay the bills to get him and his family by. While working in a local market, trouble comes when a supermarket threatens to open up and knock out local businesses. The market being one of the few jobs in town, Gilbert needs it. While working day and night, a stranger appears in town shocking Gilbert with her charm. Becky, a traveler from across the country lands her a spot in this hick of a town with her mother while temporarily fixing their broken down RV. Gilbert immediately falls in love. He bags her produces and asks to walk her home regularly. The one sided affair becomes mutual as Gilbert starts to bring Becky home regularly to spend time with his family. As things seem dandy and fine, theres a sudden twist in the plot. The occupied mind of Gilbert begins to distant Arnie making him reckless and dangerous to himself and others. Due to abandonment, he finds Arnie shivering in the bath twenty-four hours after receiving his bath that he couldnít take by himself. Half alive, Arnie is sent to the hospital to be healed. If this wasnít a wakeup call, Gilbert sure got one after receiving a call from the police department that Arnie had been arrested and detained for climbing the town water tower. Bonnie being as sick as she is, goes to his rescue after not leaving the house for over a decade. The locals were stunned by the attractive image they had once remembered Bonnie as. Shortly after releasing Arnie, he goes missing while on a date with Becky and Gilbert. Lost in conversation, Gilbert realizes that Arnie is nowhere to be found. After hours of searching he is found by the townspeople. That night Arnie climbs into his mothers bed after years of sleeping alone to find her dead in her sleep. Gilbert and Arnie empty the house and set it on fire to keep from the gawking of the townspeople after seeing her obese figure. Soon after Becky announces her departure onto somewhere new and promises to return the following year during the camping festival. The ending of the film is Gilbert and Arnie running towards her RV as she returns back to Endora while Gilbert talks over the scene explaining the importance of home. The director created a well thought through piece describing the simple life of a small town. He expresses moderate tragedies while leaving a message that a simple life still has its ups and downs but to keep strong through it all.

Audiences around the world were shocked by the believable act Leonardo Dicaprio played as a Mentally challenged boy. Some couldnít believe that he in fact didnít have any mental issues. Others were amazed by the discrete town, filled with typical problems, made into such a highlighted film making you want to keep on watching. I see this film as more than a movie but something to learn by. It was created in a way where you donít feel pity for the mentally challenged boy, severely obese mother, or even the young adult living to take care of only others, but it makes you feel sympathy. You genuinely wish you could help these characters out and be there for support through the hard times in life. Now I can honestly say that I have never felt such strong emotions towards a movie. The movie seems so simple, yet is so inspiring. To me, a movie doesnít get better than a romance with the not so perfect ending. No one found their prince or princess, but they all walked off with a better understanding of life and all the crazy things itll throw at you.



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