Death on Vacation and Other Strange Events in Meet Joe Black
Genre: melodrama, drama
Year of production: 1998
Directed by: Martin Brest
Actors: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Claire Forlani
The point of Meet Joe Black is that human life is beautiful in all its manifestations. This touching and bright picture makes you think about many important things – about love, about death, about life and about relationships with family and friends.
What is the movie about
A brief description of the content of the painting “Meet Joe Black”. The plot is built around the story of a young man who tragically died under the wheels of a car. Death enters the boy’s body. She has no mission on earth – she (more precisely, he) is simply on vacation and wants to spend it in human form.
Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins in the lead roles. Frame from the film.
Death, no matter how funny it sounds, wants to taste the joy of life: take a break from the routine and revel from the heart. As a completely inexperienced tourist, Death seeks his guide in the human world and finds him in the person of an elderly media mogul, William Parrish.
By coincidence, Parrish, who has a bad heart, does not have long to live, but Death makes a good deal with him. The meaning of this deal is that while Death is on vacation, the old man will not go to another world. At the same time, Perrish will have to lead Death behind him everywhere and explain and show him the delights of human life. Parrish does not like this idea, but he agrees, and from that moment on, the content of the picture, essentially dramatic, takes on lyric-comedy notes.
At the heart of the contract between man and Death is an obligation, according to which Perrish is obliged to fulfill all the whims of his “companion”. Parrish brings Death to his home and introduces him to the family as a guy named Joe Black. However, he does not provide any explanation.
In the meantime, Death “humanizes” rather quickly. In particular, he meets Perrish’s daughter, Susan, and a spark instantly runs between them. An interesting fact is that initially Death chose the body of a guy whom the girl once met in a cafe. Coincidence?..
In human form, Death cognizes what, naturally, cannot cognize in its true incarnation. He knows love.
Closer to the final, Black invites his beloved to dance. And here there is an involuntary association with macabra – the dance of death. In addition, the very fact of dancing with death can mean that a person’s life can end at any moment.
And so it turns out: enchanted, Death wants to take his beloved with him. And Susan suddenly realizes who is holding her in his arms…
What happened in the final
At the end of the picture, Susan guessed that she had been talking with Death all this time (or with someone else, but definitely not with the guy she met in the cafe). That’s what they talked about as they danced for the last time.
The explanation for the ending looks like this: Joe Black abandoned his plan – to take with him, in addition to Parrish himself, also his daughter. Moreover, he returned the life to the dead young man.
At the end, the same guy appears, and Susan says the following: “I would like you to meet my father.” I wonder if she would have said this, thinking that in front of her is the same “person” with whom she (like her father) has been communicating all this time? ..
Interestingly, at the end of the film, when Death says goodbye to life, festive fireworks appear in the sky. Probably the meaning of the ending of the film “Meet Joe Black” is that Death was defeated, but the defeat was not at all a burden to him.
Claire Forlani as Susan Parrish. Frame from the film.
The meaning of the film
The film “Meet Joe Black” is a kind, sentimental picture for the whole family. The analysis and reviews say that this film was created for a philosophical and thoughtful viewer.
What is this movie about? The film “Meet Joe Black” tells about a few days in the life of William Parrish before his departure to another world. It would seem that the film tells far from the most rosy events, and theoretically it should be quite tragic and dramatic. But this is absolutely not true.
The meaning of the film “Meet Joe Black” is the confrontation between Death and Man. Here it is appropriate to recall a reference to the Bible, which says that death is an unnatural state for a person, destined for eternity. The picture says that even Inevitability itself must retreat from its own plan, meeting with a strong human spirit.
The romantic line is only a backdrop for the philosophical drama. The whole point of this picture lies in the dialogues of Perrish, a fading old man who lived a decent life, with Death, presented in the form of a young man – by the way, the director admitted that he wrote these dialogues, inspired by I. Bergman’s The Seventh Seal.
The picture was taken very simply. Thanks to this, the viewer gets the opportunity to remember how wonderful it is to LIVE. The viewer seems to live with Joe Black the moments of the first meeting with peanut butter, the first touch to another person, the first kiss and the first sexual experience. The film seems to tell us: all moments of life – even those that we consider unimportant – are beautiful.
The viewer looks at the world with Joe’s virgin eyes – as if we saw him for the first time. The “trick” is that the real delight in life comes from Death. Throughout the action, Joe Black demonstrates pure uncomplicated curiosity, openness and spontaneity.
There are no strange mysteries and frightening clues in Meet Joe Black. This film is very simple and does not require multiple interpretations.
The main meaning of the film is that, indeed, love is stronger than death. The thought runs like a red thread that if you lived your life with dignity, then you meet death with your head held high …
Frame from the film.
Also, of course, this is a movie about the fact that love is blind and unpredictable: it can hit us at the most unexpected moment – moreover, feelings can arise for the most seemingly unsuitable person at first glance …
In addition, the film “Meet Joe Black” also talks about relationships with loved ones, with relatives – it talks about the need to pay attention and show love to your family members.
That is, this is a metaphorical fairy tale-parable without any hidden meaning, but at the same time with a Christian message.
According to some viewers, Meet Joe Black is a rather pointless remake of the French film Death Takes a Holiday.
The plot of this picture was redrawn to please the average American viewer, who is not ready to comprehend the deep meaning of the original canvas. A thin thread here is the idea that dying is not as scary as losing your business. That is, this is a picture of typically American values.
In addition, it seems strange the love of a creature that is not a person, and who has seen many different girls over the centuries of its existence, for a completely ordinary daughter of Perrish. However, this is a mystery: the paths of love are even less predictable than the paths of death.