I Can’t Relate to 99% of Humanity
This is a review of the movie Ghost World. Ghost World is a movie no one should miss, it makes you think, and that’s a wonderful thing.
The day I saw this movie I was in a really bad mood. I wasn’t expecting to like it or anything else that was put before me, but to my surprise it was one of the best movies I have ever seen. It was engrossing and smart, and I think everyone should see it.
The story is about two girls just out of high school and facing their futures without a clue as to what to do or how to salvage any sort of meaningful life out of all the superficiality and mediocrity that surrounds them. One takes the responsible route almost immediately, and the other is less ambitious. I enjoyed the characters because they had depth, intelligence, and looked beyond the surface of things. As a result, they didn’t conform to the warped priorities of their fellow suburbanites.
A film like this one is refreshing because it makes you notice that ordinary life can be interesting, and that not everyone is satisfied with what society constitutes as “happiness.” Like the characters: Seymour, Rebecca, and Enid, I feel it takes more than material possessions or unrealistic expectations to be truly happy and fulfilled. The way that these characters refuse to buy into these easy answers offered up by society is what makes them so unforgettable and poignant. And you find yourself drawn into their lives and caring about what happens to them.
Enid, the main character, is carefree and unwilling to apologize for herself or give in to conformity. She is only counting on herself to discover what possibilities are out there and find a place for her uniqueness. In a society driven by greed and monetary status, she is an artistic, sensitive person trying to glean meaning out of everyday life. She hasn’t learned how to deal with the confusion, frustration and pressure associated with growing up and choosing a path in life.
One review I read described the middle-aged Seymour as a man exemplifying Thoreau’s ‘life of desperation.’ But it’s interesting to note that Seymour himself is unsure of what he wants his life to be and if his desires are really worthwhile. He doesn’t seem to know what a fulfilling life is and has no idea how to get one. He is on the fringes of the mainstream, not really fitting in but still unsure of how to live life more happily.
Like reality, the movie doesn’t have a nice tidy ending that wraps everything up. It’s wide open to interpretation and leaves you with the sense that there really are no guarantees in life (except change) and you can’t always depend on things or people.
What becomes of Enid at the end of Ghost World? Does she remain an aimless drifter forever? Does she finally find her scene and make a group of amazing friends? Does she become homeless and live on the street? The movie doesn’t tell you, but shows Enid leaving town with more questions than answers to follow. She leaves one phase of life to enter another. I found it to be very satisfying.