Grand Canyon

     The movie "Grand Canyon" encompasses many thoughts and feelings. The
movie consist of many characters, whose lives run in parallel, and often touch
each other, resulting in some unexcepted events and relationships. The
encompassing theme of the movies is that life, and the people who live those
lives, finds a way to over come adversity. The adversity comes in the form of
unexpected and unmeaning violence. We see the characters' lives suddenly
punctuated by events over which they have no control, and which are at random.

Yet their lives, although temporarily thrown off course, maintain themselves and
sometimes become enriched. The helplessness of the human condition is made even
more stark by man's relationship to his environment. This is exemplified by The

Grand Canyon, which inspires awe of one character in particular, and which, at
the end of the movie, provides the back drop for the closing scenes of disparate
people coming together. The movie also has other themes resonate as under
currents to the central themes sketched above. The separate universes of the
urban poor and suburban wealthy are contrasted. These universes occupy the same
time and space, but rarely touch, except for moments of threading violence and
pitiful ignorance. These images occupy the opening scenes of the movie. The
street basketball, played by impoverished, inner city adolescence and adults,
shows the poverty of generations trapped in a way of life. An old man looks on
through the chain link fence at the basketball court, illustrating that despair
is all that one generation offer the next. These scenes are shot in black and
white, devoid of color of life. These scenes are contrasted with the colorful
shots of the professional basketball game, with cheering, affluent, predominantly
white crowd, and an arena full of commercial interest and money. The game is the
same, but the universes that they are played in are unimagined to each other. A
second sub theme of the movie is the disappointment of human relationship, but
how they are given new hope by new relationships. We see the faltering marriage
of Mack and Claire. The drifting of Otis from his family to the street gangs.

The failed attempt of Mack to initiate and adulterous affair with Lisa. These
failing relationships are contrasted with the joy of the new relationship
between Claire and her adopted baby, Simon and Jane, and Roberto with his new
girlfriend. These are limits of Lisa new relationship with a police officer. And

Simon announces his love for Jane. A some relationship fade, others are kindled.

Violence is an overreaching theme in the movie. Every character suffers from a
violent episode, over which he or she has no control. The violence is of the
very ordinary kind that happens many times in the city. The violence is not
always man's making. A mild earth quake is enough to induce a heart attack in
one of the peripheral characters. The heart attack, like the earth quake itself,
is unexpected and not dramatic. The earth quake also ties in with the theme of
man's diminutive importance to nature, and the world as a whole, as it has
existed for millions of years before mankind. The Grand Canyon cares nothing for
the trials and tribulations of the human race, or individuals who make up that
race. Overall, this movie fails to deliver all that it promises. It does not
make me think and consider its contents, but then a good book would have done
that much more effectively. The movie is too long and eventually lost my
interest. The producers failed to convince me that they had anything meaningful
to say. Instead, they were content to hint at shades of meaning. I would
recommend the movie, but not to be taken as seriously as it would like to be.