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Presenting Freudian Concepts: Mr. and Mrs. Smith Essay

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Updated: Mar 20th, 2021

The movie called Mr. and Mrs. Smith, on the one hand, represents a romantic story about two contract assassins who fall in love with each other and who have to sacrifice their job for their happy marriage. On the other hand, the main heroes performed by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie function as contemporary objects of sexual attraction. Their bodies are eroticized on the screen so that the actors are presented as the etalons of the most handsome man and the most beautiful woman. Discussing the movie from the viewpoint of Freudian identification, the main protagonists have been the brightest examples of expressing two opposing instincts, or drives, existing within the human being – those of creativity, sexuality, and construction and those of destruction, compulsion, and aggression.

According to Freudian work called Beyond the Pleasure Principles, “…even under the dominance of the pleasure principle, there are ways and means enough of making what is in itself unpleasurable into a subject to be recollected and worked over in the mind” (Freud, 1961, p. 17). About this assumption, the movie postulates that unpleasant experience is indispensable to achieving pleasure and enjoinment. The main protagonists strike balance between life and death, which is congruent with a Freudian vision of sexual instincts called Eros and the death instinct called Thanatos (Freud, 2000).

While discussing the protagonists as the object of the female and male gaze, it is purposeful to consider this perception through Freudian theories of sexuality. According to the scholar, “numerous deviations appear in respect of both of these – the sexual object and the sexual aim” (Freud, 2000, p. 98). About this, Freud emphasizes unconscious forces shaping the original disposition of the sexual instinct that contains the germs of perversions. Judging from the event taken place in the movie, the main protagonists’ sources of sexuality and sexual instincts stem from their experiences in life since other sources are not revealed to viewers. The heroes mostly rely on their original instincts and need to disclose the veritable human needs beyond the pleasure principle.

In conclusion, it is very useful to highlight the fact that the movie under analysis uncovers Freudian views on sexuality through the representation of the pleasure principles. Also, the movie can be considered through the prism of representing the protagonists as contemporary objects of male and female gaze where both Joie and Pitt are presented as eroticized bodies on the screen. Specifically, both protagonists personify eroticized objects and symbols of sexuality. Their goals are subjected to two pleasure principles connected to sexual and death instincts. In this respect, the movie is focused on the concepts of creativity, sexuality, aggression, and destruction that are closely intertwined. Besides, Mr. and Mrs. Smith is also the representation of sex battles where particular reference should be made to Jolie who personified a sophisticated mixture of both genders.

References

Freud, S. (2000) Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality. The US, Basic Books.

Freud, S. (1961) Beyond the Pleasure Principle. In: P. Gay (eds) Sigmund Freud: A Brief Life. The US, Bantam Books.

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IvyPanda. "Presenting Freudian Concepts: Mr. and Mrs. Smith." March 20, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/presenting-freudian-concepts-mr-and-mrs-smith/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Presenting Freudian Concepts: Mr. and Mrs. Smith." March 20, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/presenting-freudian-concepts-mr-and-mrs-smith/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Presenting Freudian Concepts: Mr. and Mrs. Smith'. 20 March.

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