Media Reaction One of the Best Movies Reaction Paper

Pages: 4 (1556 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Film

Media Reaction

One of the best movies on diversity is "Guess who's coming to dinner." Though more than 40 years old, this movie depicts the subject of diversity in more meaningful way than any other movie I have seen since. The movie has one clear message: "America has more than one skin color and its time we accepted and embraced this truth."

The storyline may appear simple from viewpoint of a new viewer, but 40 years ago, it was a considered a very bold topic. Interestingly despite the 40-year gap, this is one drama that doesn't appear dated in any sense of the word. The issue of diversity is still as burning a subject as it has been then; only then it was a more sensitive subject because of the recent civil rights movement. Director Stanley Kramer had the guts to bring out in the open a subject that had hitherto been swept under the carpet and hushed down. The subject of diversity: of skin colors, of interracial marriages and love and of stepping into a new world which was no longer dominated by the whites.

I am sure that even a modern viewer will be taken aback by some of the bold and rather brave dialogues in the movie. It depicts an unbiased and uncolored picture of the truth. The director sees it as it is and presents it as it was in 1967. The movie doesn't try to mince words on the subject of color and it doesn't only present the clash between whites and blacks, it also attacks the psyche of colored people themselves as John (Sidney Poitier) says to his father in one of more stirring scenes of the movie.

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"You are 30 years older than I am. You and your whole lousy generation believes the way it was for you is the way it's got to be. And not until your whole generation has lain down and died will the dead weight be off our backs! You understand, you've got to get off my back! Dad... Dad, you're my father. I'm your son. I love you. I always have and I always will. But you think of yourself as a colored man. I think of myself as a man."

Reaction Paper on Media Reaction One of the Best Movies Assignment

America is a multicultural society and this multiculturalism became a hot topic of debate when people from all parts of the world began immigrating to the U.S. For economic, social or religious reasons. Immediately after the Civil rights movement, diversity was basically a race issue, though today it is as much about age, gender and sexual orientation as it is about ethnicity. But ethnicity dominates the diversity debate because for decades, our major diversity problem has been connected with race. We have spent decades deciding how to allow diversity to become a more accepted part of American landscape. Tens of hundreds of bills have been formulated, discarded or adopted and many initiatives have been taken over the past 50 years to make diversity easier on the Americans.

Forty years ago, there were fewer laws on the subject but there was still affirmative action. One law that allowed many colored people to achieve their dreams, fulfill their educational goals and get the jobs they deserved. In the movie, we see the effect of this law. John is a young black man who is a prominent doctor. He is a well educated and well established man and for him, it is easier to make his presence felt than it had been for his father. He doesn't agree with the psyche and reasoning of a man who is chained by years of subjugation. He is a free man and he likes to think like one. But color problems do not affect his family alone. Joey Drayton who is a young rich girl finds that her parents are as offended by her decision to marry a black man as his had been. She understands that it would be difficult for them to accept a black son in law but she like John is not chained by thinking of previous generations and doesn't possess their mindset. She believes in liberation as does John and thus they face similar obstacles when informing their parents of their decision and seeking their acceptance.

The movie is still highly relevant because it tackles the subject in such sensitive and meaningful manner that the whole diversity issue starts making more sense. Just watching the movie and listening to its absolutely brilliant dialogues gives one a clear idea of what diversity is all about and why it is such a major issue. The director puts it in black and white, plain and simple. There is no mincing of words, no feel good touches to a subject that still requires whole hearted acceptance and definitely no rose-colored views of the truth. One of the most powerful scenes that put the subject of diversity into perspective comes near the end when Matt Drayton (Spencer Tracy) makes a compelling argument explaining why John and Joey must think carefully before taking this step.

First Matt Drayton gives his approval for the match after careful deliberation. He realizes that what really matters is how John and Joey feel about each other. After a chat with John's mother, he comes to the conclusion that marriage is indeed all about love and if it is there, the match should be approved. As he says, "Where John made his mistake I think was in attaching so much importance to what her mother and I might think... because in the final analysis it doesn't matter a damn what we think. The only thing that matters is what they feel, and how much they feel, for each other. And if it's half of what we felt- that's everything. As for you two and the problems you're going to have, they seem almost unimaginable, but you'll have no problem with me…"

But he is not naive and neither is anyone else in that room. Matt Drayton knows what John will be facing once he marries a white woman and vice versa. He fully grasps the gravity of the issue and explains it clearly: "….John. But you do know, I'm sure you know what you're up against. There'll be 100 million people right here in this country who will be shocked and offended and appalled and the two of you will just have to ride that out, maybe every day for the rest of your lives. You could try to ignore those people, or you could feel sorry for them and for their prejudice and their bigotry and their blind hatred and stupid fears, but where necessary you'll just have to cling tight to each other and say "screw all those people"! Anybody could make a case, a hell of a good case, against your getting married."

These are some of the most powerful and soul stirring lines from the movie which make this drama all the more compelling. The arguments are forceful, logical and pertinent. There is no fuzzy reasoning and no murky comments. The two families understand where they stand and where they are coming from. They know how people will react to an interracial marriage and yet they find in themselves the courage to allow two young people in love to take the plunge. This is real courage: when you know you are scared but still take the leap because it's important.

The movie is not about full spectrum diversity. It is not about affirmative action either. It is about race and multiculturalism. It is about difference in thinking between people from two different generations. And most of all, it is about acceptance of the new truth. American landscape has changed and the movie wants us to see the new truth and accept it because it… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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