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A Streetcar Named Desire - a Movie Review

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A Streetcar Named Desire

The movie "A Streetcar Named Desire" is about Blanche Dubois who comes to stay with her sister Stella Kowalski and her husband Stanley Kowalski in New Orleans. Blanche arrives from Mississippi and tells her sister that they have lost Belle Reve, which was their family land and house property and that she has taken leave from her job as a high school teacher. There is friction between Blanche and Stanley since Blanche finds Stanley common and lower-class for her sister while Stanley sees her as pretentious and is suspicious of her past. He soon finds out about her and has mentioned the rumors to Mitch, one of his poker friends, who becomes interested in Blanche. Stanley's exposure of her past and his cruel treatment toward her combines with Mitch's decision not to pursue her deepens the hurt and the fragile state she is in. She has gone on to a world in her imagination where she is liked, is respected, and is pursued by a suitor from her past. In the end, Stanley arranges for a doctor to take her to a mental institution. The excellent characterization, script and adult themes made this movie very controversial in the 1940's due to its strict censorship.

The movie is set on a lower class neighborhood in New Orleans. Most of the characters were of low socio-economic status and most of them are rough and tough with their behavior and the way they talk. Although the whole film was made within the studio, the film is able to portray the setting successfully with its people, streets and the main house as a low-class living conditions. The movie revolves around the character of Blanche who has just arrived in this neighborhood to start a new life. It shows the state of her mental and emotional health which are negatively affected by her painful past. Blanche wants to forget or cover up the things about her that would ruin the image she is trying to show, which is that of a decent, affluent lady. She also wants to pursue love and companionship or marriage and bases her ability to find these on being the lady that she projects. She becomes mentally unstable whenever she remembers her husband's death. When she remembers, her sense of time is disrupted and the guilt and heartache she feels are all obvious and disturbing. The movie also shows how others' treatment toward her makes her unstable health even worse. It shows how hurt, shame and rejection finally break her hold on reality.

The characterization in the story is remarkably distinct. Each character has his or her own personality such as the following: Stella--Blanche's sister who is divided between her love and consideration for her sister Blanche and her passionate want for Stanley, her husband; Mitch-- who is sincere at first in pursuing Blanche but did not continue after learning of her past, and still seems to care for her in the end; Stanley-- who is straightforward,



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