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Sample essay topic, essay writing: John Q - 1609 words
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John Q.Question: Feature films can reinforce and/or question what is important to society at particular times. Discuss how John Q performs one or both of these social functions.Society is constantly changing to make the world a better place to live in. This is why we need to be informed regularly of the issues we have in the world. A lot of issues are not really being discussed in print media therefore these issues are presented to the society through other mediums such as films, documentaries and even television series. The movie John Q, directed by Nick Cassavettes, and starring Denzel Washington, is a movie that makes us, the audience, realise the terrible life that one has to go through because of this holes in this modern society.
The movie tells how a father, John Archibald, with severe financial problems goes through many challenges to tackle the uncompassionate hospital administrators in order to save his one and only son, Michael, from dying of an enlarged heart. The movie has been presented in a way that is not only gripping and entertaining but also in a way to position the audience, to relate and sympathise with the characters of the movie using film techniques such as shot size, lighting, music and dialogue. The movie reinforces the importance of families during tough times and makes us consider the issues that arise within the film such as one-sided and money driven health care system, badly managed employer controlled insurance and the way that different social classes are not being accepted equally in the society.Health care is an essential ingredient to every human being's survival. According to the movie 40 million Americans out of the total population of around 270 million in the US is uninsured. If these 40 million people can't even afford insurance then they definitely can't afford expensive treatments such as a heart transplant, a person may require in his/her life span
In the US you will either need money or insurance to get a proper treatment. In John Q, a male nurse actually states that "if you don't have any money, got a band-aid, a foot in the a**, and you're out the door". Employer controlled insurance is used very commonly in the US, where the employer "helps" you to manage insurance. This should be convenient and effective for the employees, but in John Q, or even in the reality, it has caused many problems. In this movie, John's has changed from full-time to part-time and apparently his employer had changed insurance carriers. This is caused many problems for John Archibald, because at first he was not very much worried when he thought that his insurance could cover his son's surgery's fees, but after he went to see his employer to ask about his insurance he was shocked.
The scene when he was talking to his employer had many close-ups on John's face to show his sad emotions. Other scenes that confront the audience of the difficulties that John had to go through in the result of the insurance change were the ones where he was selling his possessions and calculating the amount of money he had received. These scenes starts with a medium pace music then as the amount of money increases the music gets faster and faster, this creates a sense of hope disregarding the traumas that John is going through. This has positioned the audience to question about whether the people in the US should use employer-controlled insurance after all the trouble it has caused for John Archibald. Together with a good health care system, we also need it to be fair and be available to everyone in the society regardless of his or her status.
The medical system in the US is basically for the rich people who can afford it. Interestingly, the movie actually arose from Cassavettes' own personal life because his daughter also needs a heart transplant herself. This portrays the American health system as money driven, because the people who can actually get the treatment are the people with money and in the "higher class" of the society. There is a scene in John Q where Dr Turner, the cardiac specialist joking around with one of his patients who would fit sensibly in the "higher class", but when he is around John Archibald he doesn't really want to talk to him, because John Archibald doesn't belong to the "higher class". The scene where Dr Turner and Rebecca Payne, the hospital administrator first met John and his wife Denise Archibald is a great example of how people treat differently, or even badly, to different people from different "classes". Throughout this scene Rebecca Payne just underrated John and his wife and kept assuming that they can't afford the procedure. She was telling John and his wife to let go of Michael and to make the most out of it time he remains alive.
When John decided to take the procedure option, she still underrated them and stuns them by telling them that the procedure will cost $200,000. This makes me wonder why the society need to group people in "classes" and why people just judge other people by their "classes" and be less considerate for the lower classes than to the upper classes.Society grouping people into "classes" is just not right. It makes people be treated in a way they shouldn't. The hospital administrator, Rebecca Payne, fundamentally was the 'bad guy' in this movie. It has portrayed her as a cold and heartless person not wanting to help a little boy who was in need of a heart transplant.
The whole "class" business has also made the people from different "classes" all distant from each other and that one cannot understand the other. In the very scene where the Rebecca Payne underrate John and his wife, it show how Dr Turner started with a whole lot of medical jargon and pretty making John not understanding a single word he said. But in reality doctors would slowly explain the situation in a language of which we can understand. The lighting in this scene was dark, it was like if the Archibalds had entered into another world, a world that is so different to what they are used to. The way that the room was set out was so significant because there was a long white table in the middle of the room.
The hospital representatives sat on one side and the Archibalds on the other side. The two parties in the room were shown in separate shots. There was never a shot of them together. All these techniques assisted in creating the sense of distance between the people from the hospital and the Archibalds. The way they portrayed the cold-blooded and uncaring hospital administrator is actually the reality as the actress who took the part as Rebecca Payne, Anne Heche said, "Hospital administrators have very tough jobs in this country. It is not their choice.
They have to turn people away. They have to do what they need to do to keep the system going". It is actually not her that is corrupted, because in the end of the movie, Rebecca Payne had actually begun to cry. This changes her from being cold and heartless to a person full of guilt and regretting what she had done in the past and that it is the system that makes her corrupt.The system being corrupt has cause John to go crazy and act in a way he normally wouldn't. It has given John no choice but to hold hostage of the Emergency Room until the hospital will agree to do the transplant.
After Michael had recovered, John was sentenced to only two to three years jail term. In reality this would not happen and it should have been longer but we as the audience has excused him from this because it shows how he would do anything to help his son. He had sold his possessions to raise money for the procedure. He was even going to commit suicide in order to save his son and to protect his son from dying. There were scenes at the start where the characterisation was taking place and the family was doing activities together and positioning us to feel for the innocence of the family.
The family was often shown together to create a sense of them being a family and the way that families carry out activities together. It lets me realise how important family is to us and we should do whatever it takes to keep it alive and together. This reinforces on how every one of the human beings value families and that family always come first.Anne Heche had said, "I don't see this as an issue movie .. but I see it as a beautiful family love story". I partially disagree with this statement because the movie not only entertained us but also questioned many values in the society such as the corrupted health care system used by the US, the badly managed employer controlled insurance and the way that the people are not treated equally regardless of their "class". The movie not only question these values but also reinforced that family roles should be valued and that it is very important when it comes to the type to situation that arose in John Q.
I believe that the world is constantly changing and it would be ideal if one day all the problems would be solved and everyone would be able to have their desires reached without going through the run-arounds, extreme actions and the trauma that John Archibald had to go through.
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