THE VISITOR by Thomas McCarthy

13 Sep

“The Visitor” starring Richard Jenkins was a phenomenal film about a widower who was trying to find happiness through music after his wife’s passing.  In the early scenes of the film you can see that he is struggling to learn the piano but isn’t able to make any progress and gives up.  We learn later in the film that his wife was pianist and the reason for him learning was most likely an attempt to remain close to her.  Walter lives a very simple and sad life and you can see that his life lacks any passion until he visits his New York City apartment and finds two squatters living there, Tarek and his girlfriend, Zainab.  Tarek is a drummer which peaks great interest with Walter and eventually teaches Walter how to play.  Which eventually reawaken and ignites a passion in Walter that was never seen before.

Watching the movie made my think of my trips the New York and the amazing culture of street music there.  There was a scene in the movie where Tarek takes Walter to Central Park and has him participate in a drum circle that reminded me of the times I spent in the park.  I thought that the casual rhythmic attitudes of Tarek and the drummers was a great contrast to the stuffy Walter and you can see how this music transforms him.  There is a great deal of symbolism in the movie, even though the piano was something that connected him to his wife, it caused a great deal of sadness and obstructed Walter’s life.  When he began to learn to play the drums, he let himself be vulnerable, did things he never would do, and found happiness through this form of music.  Walter ends up selling his piano and inherits Tareks drums and with that transition you see that Walter has opened himself up to feeling and love.  “The Vistor” is a prime example of how a random person can inspire you and have an impace on your life.


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