A day in the lives of a group of average teenage high school students. The film follows every character and shows their daily routines. However two of the students plan to do something that the student body won't forget.Written by
Elephant is one of those rare movies that really captures the essence of its subject. Van Sant made an incredible decision to cast high school students instead of 'real' actors because it adds, with a positive effect, to the overall feel of the film. This decision actually made the film even more shocking towards the climactic scenes. The movie, as realistic as it may seem, also had elements of fantasy. Some of it didn't seem quite real (by some of the students' reactions, or some of the dialogue), but that added to the effect of the film. It made it seem like what we're all thinking: "This could never happen to me." With those elements of fantasy, we picture this situation as something that will never actually happen to us, but it does, all over the place. It isn't something that we can ignore, or push aside. This is real. This is stuff, not just the shootings, but all of the conflicts, that we face each and every day. It's not a dream, it's reality. I also liked the decision for the name "Elephant". It kind of acted as a social commentary on the ways that we view the school system, and the lack of protection that people were putting on it; the lack of supervision, or the lack of caring for the people. It all seemed to come together, in one very important, and realistic, horrifying film. It shocked me at the end, even though you know what's going to happen, just watching it gave me the creeps because when you're watching the shooter, he actually seems like a person I know. Excellent film, must be watched by all! 4 out of 4.
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