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Contention: Shine represents the exploration of one mans attempt to overcome his alienation.
At the start of the film, David Helfgott was an outcast of society. His whole family was alienated maybe because they were just too poor. Most of his life he tried to overcome this but his father just kept on pushing him back. As he was growing up he had a number of different experiences to try to get him out of his alienation by making friends through his music. I believe that David has overcome his alienation by the end of the film because the public re-accepts him as the true genius he is.
When David went to a very exclusive music school, he jumped from a lower class to a higher-class status. His father kept on pulling him back and tried to persuade him to stay. When he couldn't persuade him, Peter hit David as a last resort. That just made David madder and he just wanted to leave even more. In one scene after Peter hit David, Peter said that if he leaves he would never be apart of the family again. That did not make David stay, he left anyway so he could be apart of society he missed so much. I think that by doing this David has overcome his alienation from society.
David was also very unsuccessful in getting a girlfriend and having a serious relationship. His first real relationship came when he was in his late 30's, early 40's to a lady who already had children. Her name was Gillian. They meet through a friend named Sylvia. When they met they were very happy together. Gillian took great care of him and was also very in love with him. She ended up marrying him in a ceremony that was wonderful. Sometimes he seems like a handful especially when he was in the pool where all his playing sheets were flying around, but she loves him and can put up with him. By marrying Gillian, he has overcome his problems with unsuccessful relationships.
And the last alienation he overcame was he played in public once again. Most of his life he couldn't fit in and when he did people used him a lot. He was an outcast and when he did go to a higher class he was pushed back into a mental institution. When he was younger he was very well known, but when he became older no one knew him until he came back and played in public once again. As an artist he was excellent but when he was missing form the music scene no one really followed him and ask where has he gone? But since he came back everybody went to see him play. When he played in public he was filled with joy. Society has a last accepted him for what he really is, a normal person.
David Helfgott was never alienated. He and his family were always making new friends through his music. His sister even had friends come over their house and talk, but the father would never approve of that. Even later in life David had friends as well. Most of his friends were living with him in a mental institution, they might not know what's going on but they are still his friends. But when he did have friends in the music school, they used him for everything he had including money. Things like that made David want to stay by himself even more. His father was another reason why he was alienated. Instead of letting David go out and play, Peter made him go out and collect bottles for money. These are reasons why David was alienated.
I found that David did overcome everything he had to and was very succesful at doing it as well. He was very good piano player, but the only thing was that he had a mental problem. He would never overcome the mental problem but will always be apart of society.
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Films, Mental illness in fiction, Shine, David Helfgott
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