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A Simple Plan Movie Review

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In A Simple Plan, director Sam Raimi delivers many emotionally effective scenes. He enhances each scene with vital, well placed filmmaking techniques. Raimi's techniques include implementing direct dialogue and conflict, exploiting the special bond between two brothers, and the portrayal of greed in the wrong people. The scenes which this effectiveness is presented the strongest are Jacob's talk with Hank in the car, Jacob's death in the nature preserve, and the final burning of the money. These scenes would not have been as effective without the aforementioned techniques.

The first emotionally powerful scene is between Jacob and his brother Hank. We learn from their intimate discussion that Jacob is feeling lonesome and sad. Raimi makes us feel sad and depressed, sharing the same feelings as Jacob. Without these feelings of remorse for Jacob, the effectiveness of the final scene is not quite as emotionally powerful. Sam Raimi sets up each emotionally effective scene with one preceding it. Ultimately, we have these feelings because the director puts us in the shoes of Jacob. Obviously, he isn't at a great point in his life. Jacob has just murdered two people, including his best friend. Jacob becomes fragile and his emotional state is shaky. We are then set up for the final scene with a touch of foreshadowing. Jacob subconsciously reveals that he has nothing to live for except the money which was eventually meaningless. He even wishes "somebody else had found that money". Sam Raimi forces us to see the distinction that has come about between the two brothers. Jacob, who now has nothing, has a simple wish of a simple farm. Hank has everything Jacob wants, which is normality, but this is just not good enough for Hank and his family. Greed has driven these two brothers apart, which makes for a very emotional scene with the brothers.

The next and arguably most emotionally effective scene occurs in the nature preserve between the two brothers, following the deaths of Baxter and Carl. Again, Raimi narrows it down to direct dialogue and conflict between the two brothers. The bond that brothers share is played with, and adds effectiveness to each scene between them. Once Hank finally shoots Jacob, he sobs. He does this mainly because it's his brother. Again, the viewer is thrown into the mix and gets the question of how he would act if he had to shoot his own sibling. Any murder committed takes a toll on your conscience, but when it's somebody you have known and loved your whole life, that toll is magnified. Raimi set up an attachment between the viewers and each of the brothers, and once Jacob dies, this attachment causes us to feel like Hank, to an extent. At this point, the attachment is broken completely between the viewer and Hank, as his greed and utter disregard



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