Wanita Wednesdays: “The Virgin Suicides”

From special guest writer Wanita.

After taking an introductory film class, Wanita wished to contribute a little of what she learned. Therefore, every Wednesday until the end of January, Wanita will be talking about a specific aspect of filmmaking or a film she enjoyed, i.e. Wanita Wednesdays! This week: the themes of “The Virgin Suicides”.

SYNOPSIS (from IMDb): A group of male friends become obsessed by a group of mysterious sisters who are sheltered by their strict religious parents after one of them commits suicide.

I had seen The Virgin Suicides after it came out on video years ago, and did not give much thought to the themes, or what anything really meant in the movie. I had noticed the trees on the street being emphasized, and I also noted the obsession the boys had with the girls. After seeing the film a second time and looking for themes, I saw there was a lot to look at. The film contained so much information, themes, and symbols.

Some major themes included, destruction or nature, which also transcended to the destruction of life. These trees were being killed, in order to protect this perfect looking neighbourhood; nothing was really done to help them heal. Cecil (Hanna R. Hall) was an odd child, she was very different than her sisters, and she killed herself instead of trying to fix the problem. Another main theme I found was the illusion of love. The boys in the film believe that they are in love with the girls, they have this perfect image of them embedded in their minds. The boys tried to obtain as many of the girls’ possessions as possible; they rummaged through the garbage in hopes to get an insight to their lives.

They imagined trips around the world with the girls, but they’ve hardly had a real conversation with them. Lux (Kristen Dunst) also has this allusion of love; she fell head over heels for Trip (Josh Hartnett), and she slept with him. Trip ends up leaving her on a football field, with that she gets a hard dose of reality. Lux went from having something like a girly love to being a very promiscuous girl; sleeping with every guy you can think of, maybe hoping to fill the void that Trip left her with. What I found really intriguing was that the girls went to the boys for help at the end of the film. They tell them to come for them with a car ready and everything, yet they choose the same night to end their lives. I didn’t understand why they would do that unless it had something to do with the fact that they were all there when Cecil had died.

LAST DETAILS: “The Virgin Suicides” (1999) written and directed by Sofia Coppola, based on the novel The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, starring Kristen Dunst, Kathleen Turner, James Woods, Josh Hartnett and Giovanni Ribisi.

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