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Eve’s Bayou is a drama film that was produced in 1997. Its director was Kasi Lemmons. Samuel Jackson acted as both the producer of the film and a star along with other famous actors (Corliss, p. 4). This paper will analyze and critically review the film by looking at various aspects such as character dynamics, the use of irony and symbolism, themes in the film and various other details.
The film is told from the point of view of the woman and the majority of the characters are Batiste women. Lynn Whitfield appears to be an elegant woman who had endured suffering for long and finally falls in love with an innovative man. Cisely’s character flaw may be seen in her nature of being confused. Her feelings are confused by the feelings she has towards the parents. She comforts her father but despises her mother. As she does this, she has no idea what might become of her behavior.
Eve, on the other hand, is mischievous. She provokes the sister and younger brother. She also talks back at the parents. Eve has been given different nicknames to show her different characters. She displays instances of jealousy when she sees Cisely dancing gracefully with her father. The attention that her father gave Cisely bothered her. Louis is seen to be a promiscuous husband who is cheating on his wife. His character is driven by his promiscuous behavior.
Analysis of the film
From the plot of the film, the climax is reached when Eve finally uncovers some of the hidden truths within her family. She then tries to put them together to find the complete truth. One of the themes in the film is sexual taboo. This is evident where Cisely is found kissing and relating to her father in a sexual way instead of acting as father and daughter. Another theme is the keeping of secrets. The family had kept many secrets that were finally uncovered by Eve. Another theme that comes up in the film is that of the keeping appearances. Louis is seen as a good and faithful husband but looks are deceiving. This is because he was the exact opposite of what people thought of him. Eve always believed that she killed her father while she was a small kid. However, the hidden truth is revealed with time (Holden, p. 3).
Quotes from the film
Towards the beginning of the film Eve is quoted saying that memory was a selection of images. Some of the images were elusive while others were printed indelibly on her brain. The memory of her father’s death appeared to come back to her pointing her as the killer. This selection of memories is what shapes the story. At some point in the film, Eve is quoted saying that her mother was the most beautiful woman she had ever seen. She was however worried about the attention she received from her father and he asks her father why he never danced with her. She describes her father as a weak but a good man. She acknowledges her father’s promiscuity but at the same time understands him to be a good man.
Use of color and irony
In the film, color has been used to convey the story in different lights. Black and white was used for flashback. When the story is about to start, the color appears and the story begins (Sarris 5). Irony has been used to produce the basic rhythm in the film and it is used to bring out the double consciousness in the American culture.
The film, Eve’s Bayou, is not a simple-minded story but is a creative story. There is the use of style and it is well organized to tell the story in an interesting way. There are some twists and turns but finally, the truth is revealed. It is a very interesting film to watch.
- Corliss, Richard. “Eve’s Bayou (1997) – The most important films on race.” Time 2011: 4. Print.
- Holden, Stepen. “New York Time review.” New York Times 1997: 3. Print.
- Sarris, Andrew. “New York Observer review.” New York Times 1997: 5. Print.