Essay about Film Analysis: Lantana directed by Ray Lawrence

Essay about Film Analysis: Lantana directed by Ray Lawrence

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In his 2001 film entitled Lantana, director Ray Lawrence provides a dramatic look into the consequences of jealousy and infidelity in relationships. The film focuses primarily on two couples, Leon and Sonja, and John and Valerie, whose relationships are both seemingly in the midst of their own downward spirals. As the story unfolds and the issues affecting each of these relationships are uncovered, the film paints a vivid picture of the different ways that such themes can quickly bring ruin to relationships, and, in the case of some of the film’s characters, lives.
As the film opens, it quickly becomes apparent that Leon, a married law enforcement officer, is cheating on his wife Sonja with Jane, a woman from their dance class. Jane is also married, but is separated from her husband. It is obvious from the start that Leon and Sonja’s marriage is in dire straits. The other main couple, Valerie and John, are struggling to hold their relationship together after the murder of their young daughter. Valerie also happens to be Sonja’s therapist. Through therapy sessions between Valerie and Sonja, it becomes clear that Sonja is having suspicions regarding Leon’s extramarital activities. Simultaneously, Valerie is counseling a homosexual man named Patrick, who is having an affair with a married man. Both patients seem to be causing Valerie an immense amount of stress, as she begins to question whether John is being faithful to her in the midst of their struggles. As the film progresses, Valerie begins behaving erratically due to her growing jealousy regarding the affair that she suspects John of being involved in. While driving home late one night, Valerie becomes stranded and calls John from a pay phone multiple times, but ...


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...rnations of jealousy can arise in relationships, and the effects of each type.
The storyline elements in Lantana were masterfully crafted by the director as each interaction and relationship showed a different aspect of the results of jealousy and infidelity in relationships. I found the differences in the relationships themselves, as well as the ways in which each participant in the relationships reacted to their relational situations to be rather realistic, and ultimately, fairly educational. Though the film was clearly a drama and an art piece, it successfully reinforced many of the ideas communicated in lecture, and helped to explain the differences in subsets of jealousy and infidelity. Overall, the film, and the actors’ portrayals of the characters, provided an in-depth look at the ways in which jealousy and infidelity affect intimate relationships.


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