Essay: Mini First Time

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¶ … messed up family that breaks taboos all over the place, making one think of another certain film called American Beauty with an equally disturbing family. The characters in Mini's First Time aren't heroes -- or anti-heroes, for that matter, only very faulty human beings that are quite difficult for one to comprehend. They are complex and rife with contradictions. What is interesting about the film is that the characters -- all of them -- are individually and inherently flawed beyond recourse. Like Ovid's Metamorphoses, the film is an example of chaos vs. order. This is not an epic film, but rather anti-epic -- like Ovid's work, which depicts the flaws of everyone: spoiled Mini, Martin's desire and Diane's jealousy.

Mini is a spoiled teenage girl who is constantly plagued by boredom, which is why she must embark on a series of "firsts" to relieve it. Mini decides to become a prostitute, joining an agency and everything to get jobs; however, her agency sends her, unknowingly, to her stepfather Martin who "likes 'em young." This presents a difficult choice for Mini: does she sleep with her stepfather or call it a day? She decides that it would be "a first to top all firsts" and so she turns off the lights, blindfolds her stepfather, and goes through with the deed of seducing her stepfather. Like Cupid, the Roman and Greek symbol of love and beauty, who shoots his own mother with an arrow in the Metapamorphoses, Mini is also a symbol of love, sexuality and beauty as well as a very flawed individual who works for her own good and for her own satisfaction without thinking about the effects her actions will have on other people.

The film tackles the concept of desire and how it can rule the head and cripple the heart. Obviously Martin probably knows that sleeping with his stepdaughter is isn't something that he should be doing, desire gets in the way of his brain and he ends up not only sleeping with Mini once -- but several times, leading him to finally decide that he wants to be with her and so they must come up with a plot to get rid of Diane. Mini, of course, is up for this since she's never murdered anyone. That would truly be a first to top all firsts. The movie depicts Martin almost as a victim of Mini. He is guided by feelings, much like Mini, but although Martin is aware that there are punishments in life for one's actions, he cannot stop himself from going along with Mini. Mini, while passionate and emotionally motivated, seems to be in control of her actions -- as if she is the god deciding the fate of humans.

Diane can be likened to Juno, the jealous wife of Jove in Metamorphoses. She is a victim of Mini's machinations, but she is not beyond reproach herself. Diane has her sins -- one that is namely in the form of a massage therapist, but she doesn't deserve to die for it. No, Diane is merely an irritating intruder in Mini and Martin's plans to be together. She is a player -- a pawn -- that must be moved in order for Mini to win the game.

Like Metamorphoses, Mini's First Time has a lot to do with transformation. Like the story, the film's theme is presented to us in the very opening narration, where Mini seems to be invoking the gods, who are generally responsible for transformations, to help her with her plans. However, while Ovid's transformations can be of many kinds -- from fish to human, human to flower, rock to human and human to ants (Martin xiii), the transformations in the film have more to do with character, even though the transformation from human to murderer occurs. Martin, like Apollo, is transformed when Mini decides to go through with her seduction. Martin goes from being a rather apathetic stepfather to a man who is engulfed by desire. Despite Martin's apathy before this deed and his overall non-interest in his wife and stepdaughter, Martin turns into a man who not only is possessed by love and desire but he begins to show real interest in Mini's life (for example, asking her about her homework, which is such an uncustomary act of kindness is the household that even Diane takes note).

Ovid's poem has a common motif which runs through it and that is the imagery of hunting coinciding with sexual passion. One can't help but seeing the similarity in the film with Mini and Martin's sexual escapades turning into plotting and planning in regards to murdering Diane. Daphne is a huntress in Metamorphoses who is linked with nature and pursued by Apollo. Likewise, Mini could be a representation of nature in the sense of a raw sexual instinct. She, indeed, "hunts" Martin in a way when she decides that she will seduce him simply because it appeases her boredom momentarily. The expressions of hunger and thirst are associated with violent acts in Ovid's poem and could be likened to the film as well. What is clear, though, is that Ovid uses change as a means to escape or as a means to an end and that is also something that is very evident in the film.

Sophocles' Oedipus asks more questions than probably any other Greek tragedy and there is a constant barrage of metaphors that control the language of the play -- "discovery, paths, and wandering, inference, conjecture, and revelation" (Berg & Clay 4). However, while Oedipus is on a quest for truth, he has some inherent flaws -- hubris mainly. He is a man who seems himself as acting and reacting alone at the center of things (5) -- which is not unlike Mini in the film. Both characters have such a high regard for themselves and their actions appear to be done out of mere self-centeredness. Mini, however, unlike Oedipus, is in charge of her destiny -- or at least it appears that way. The gods "grasp everything" in Oedipus, but only two humans know how the pieces of Oedipus' life fit together: Teiresias and the old shepherd who saves Oedipus' life. In Oedipus we learn that there are things that have to do with the heavens and the gods and then there are the things that happen down on earth. In the heavens are things that must be locked in silence (arrheta) and on the earth are the things that must be taught. Teiresias can comprehend both heaven and earth. In Oedipus, heaven and earth are able to come together. "What is revealed about the life of one man is unspeakable" (9). Likewise, in the film, there are things that must be taught, but what is unclear is if the humans are ever really learning anything.

In Mini's First Time, the characters don't appear to merely be pawns that provide fun or distraction for the gods. In fact, the gods seem very far away from any characters in this film. If there are gods, they aren't paying any attention to Mini, Martin or Diane. When Oedipus blinds himself, the audience wonders how he could do this to himself, however, the Chorus asks him another question: "What you did was horrible, but how could you quench the fire of your eyes, what demon lifted your hands?" (Berg & Clay 85). The question that the Chorus asks Oedipus comes straight from a need to reveal what makes human beings act the way they do? The Chorus believes that it is the "demonic" (11) which is the reason for violent and inexplicable acts made by humans. They believe that it is some external force, "some god or devil" (11) must have caused.

Why do the characters in Mini's First Time act the way they do? If we are to try and understand them in terms of contemplating Oedipus, we can suggest that Mini is the bored little God stirring up trouble for everyone. The funny part is that everybody just seems to fall into her little traps, and the further she goes, the further they go along with her. Martin definitely doesn't have much control over his own self when it comes to Mini. Martin even wants to take Diane to the hospital at one point, but Mini wants her to die and suggests that they just let nature take its course. but, when nature isn't acting fast enough, Mini comes up with the plan to gas her in the garage. Martin goes along. Like Oedipus, Martin's inner character is daimon (Berg & Clay 11). Oedipus says, "I, I raised these two hands…I stabbed out these eyes" (85). Interestingly enough, in the tale of Oedipus, there is only one action that comes from the outside and that was not a passion, but something that he did knowingly and of his own accord: he stabbed out his eyes. With the exception of this one fact, all of Oedipus' actions could… [END OF PREVIEW]

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