The film It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) directed by Frank Capra is one of the most favorite American movies ever made among the huge audience of American viewers that has become a “classic” film (Capra 1). It is an inspirational story of one man’s life (George Bailey) who is in despair at the beginning and then becomes at the edge of his life success. The cast is full of eminent stars of the cinematograph of that time, namely: Jimmy Stewart (George Bailey); Donna Reed (Mary Hatch Bailey); Lionel Barrymore (Mr. Henry F. Potter) and others (Capra 1). The movie itself is a Christmas drama (based on the story The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Doren Stern) able to inspire everyone’s heart with good sensations and for doing good deeds (Capra 1). Thus, the film under analysis is as realistic and vivid reminder for those in despair that life is precious and full of wonders even if there seems no other way than to pass away.
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First off, the plot of the movie tells about a story of the main character George Bailey who sees no other way than to commit suicide due to the fact that everything he does appears to be against him. He is interrupted by Clarence Odbody who is, in fact, his guardian angel. Clarence explains him how precious and vital his participation in the town’s life is. Each step George did toward saving someone’s life or establishing something good for the city did a great favor for the rest of citizens. Hereby, he has brother Harry to be proud of as he had become a hero of the World War II.
Moreover, George has his pretty and devoted wife Mary and four children. He saved the life of Mr. Gover’s son and many more. Even though he is turned down by Mr. Potter, the majority owner of the Building and Loans who is against giving loans to poor workers and building George’s project for Bedford Falls, he becomes successful due to the patronage from above and the help of citizens. The climax of the film is that wonders happen in Christmas time as the happy end is believed to take place during this well-liked holiday.
Talking about the objectives apparent in the movie, it is a breath-taking story which everyone might have got through in his/her life. It keeps much of positive feelings which demonstrat the two sides of life, i.e. black and white. Definitely, the movie is unique for the actors convey their feelings and thoughts in a heartwarming way. Jimmy Stewart managed to try his best in this role as he “never hits a false note” (Fairbanks 199). On the whole, the film has much to do with the hope for and faith in the best one can have in his/her life. It is “a life affirming” story that was deeply scratched on the hearts of different generations of Americans and people around the globe (Fairbanks 199).
The way Capra manages to break the time frames is especially fantastic as it bears the idea of jumping from one episode to another in accordance with the stream-of-consciousness technique. Thus, the movie is seen by the viewers as the set of remembrances in the mind of George and from the angels’ viewpoint. Once the main character faces troubles and impediments related to Mr. Potter, he still seems strong. However, the main focus is on harnessing one’s willpower even when there are all prerequisites to lose heart.
The lighting used by the director reflects more on the feelings of George and his emotional shock while things look blue. In this vein, black and white colors meet up at the juxtaposition of making right decisions by the main character. George’s crisis when his dreams are far from coming true due to his dilemma is not the dead-end, as might be seen (McGee 8). Of course, by putting oneself into his shoes the picture looks quite despondent. However, even a bad feedback has much to do with better solutions and the hope for that everything will be all right.
One of the most appalling scenes in the film is when George is likely to commit suicide. Another impressive episode is when he makes a proposal to Mary. The first one is full of personal tragedy and desperation while the second scene is all about love and passion in the most sincere and beautiful form. By and large, this scene takes notice of the classic way of making a declaration of love in the movie. The mood of the film has, therefore, long and tracking shots with just-in-place close-ups and with a particular movement of camera from different angles so that to focus solely on a definite scene with no credit to what is going on around. A romantic as well as worrisome musical score adds to the overall mood of the movie.
To conclude, the life prospects depicted in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life shed light on the significance of moving forward against all the odds. The reason is that a person is to reconsider all he/she did in life so that to believe in the happy ending of a particular situation. Based on the example of George Bailey, the story matches the life barriers one may confront with. However, it is not just a description of misery, but an explanation of what solutions one may get out of the film. Given that, the film is a role model of how to grasp the nettle.
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