The World According to Garp : The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

I'm hoping someone can clear this up for me, maybe it just bothered me more than most people, but I thought that the death of their son Walt was highly underplayed. I saw hardly any mourning for the boy and it also wasn't very clear that he had even died, yes they freeze framed on him in the wreck but...I just thought Garp seemed far more upset about the fact that his wife was cheating on him than the death of his son.

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

Yes, if there is a flaw in the movie it's the handling of the "wreck" and the death of Walt. I feel pretty comfortable that those scenes must've ended on the drawing room floor.

If I had to guess since the last 15 mins are almost all down notes they elimnated some of the grief as not to overwhelm the overall feel of the movie.

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

Actually Walt's death WAS dealt with. Garp's greiving process was stilted by the other events that happened the night of the accident.
As a result, anger (one of the bigger steps in the "greiving process") was amplified. Garp projected that anger to his wife, her infidelity giving him all the more reason to do so. When Garp and his wife finally reconcile it is over the sadness that they felt for their loss and they collapse crying in each other's arms.
Garp was a very intense man and dealt with his son's death in his own way. That way (for quite some time) was fury... and who best to project that fury onto, but his wife?

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

Now some might call me a fool--i haven't read the book--but there seems like an awful lot of tragedy in this man's life. Does he die at the end?

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

SPOILER (at least for the book)
Well, I haven't seen the movie yet, but in the book he dies...

- The Better You Look, The More You See -

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

SPOILER

Yes, he dies at the end of the movie too.

Thank you, Sam Raimi, for ruining Marvel's flagship character.

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

Well, it's actually kind of ambiguous in the movie, but I think you're supposed to assume he dies, as he does in the book.

Garp does not necessarily die in the movie

I saw the movie first and I did not know he died till I read the book. He is still alive when the closing credits roll. So he got shot. Lots of people get shot and live. It's not like the gunshot wound blew his head off or anything. He was still talking at the end. Just being rushed to the hospital. That doesn't make him dead.

Re: Garp does not necessarily die in the movie

"I saw the movie first and I did not know he died till I read the book. He is still alive when the closing credits roll. So he got shot. Lots of people get shot and live. It's not like the gunshot wound blew his head off or anything. He was still talking at the end. Just being rushed to the hospital. That doesn't make him dead."

In and of itself, no. But cinematically, they continue the camera shot as if it is moving faster up into the blue sky than the helicopter is rising... this I feel is a metaphor for Garth's spirit rising into heaven (remember, this movie was done when that was a reasonable metaphor for death).

But, what you should all REALLY be asking, is why in the hell am I responding to a message posted over 2.5 years ago? :)

Re: Garp does not necessarily die in the movie

"But, what you should all REALLY be asking, is why in the hell am I responding to a message posted over 2.5 years ago? :)"

I do that all the time. The message is still there, people are still reading it, and they can now read my thoughts, too. Internet discussions don't happen in real time, and who really cares about the dates anyway?

I guess my point is, I am not necessarily expecting the OP to see it, I am talking to everybody. :)

Re: Garp does not necessarily die in the movie

Agreed..more than a year later.

Re: Garp does not necessarily die in the movie

Total agreement here too, almost 3 years later AND from the other side of the world. :-)

Michel Couzijn

Re: Garp does not necessarily die in the movie

that is nice:) completely like jokes in a movie-from life

Re: Garp does not necessarily die in the movie

I think you come up with the assumption that he died because of what he says

"Im flying"

it's kind of a motif

his dad was a flyer
his son says the same "im flying" speech

so I think you assume he died

Re: Garp does not necessarily die in the movie

As I recall (I read the book in 1980 and saw the movie in 1982, so my memory is imperfect), Garp always wanted to fly, so that was also why he was so excited to be dying.
And yes, I have also always interpreted his "I'm flying" quote as a metaphor for his death.

Re: Garp does not necessarily die in the movie

I think when Garp tell his wife to "remember everything," you're supposed to assume along with him that he's going to die.

Science can't explain everything, but religion can't explain anything.

SPOILER..

Yes, he dies in the end. We all do.
(Sorry -- I couldn't resist)

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Re: SPOILER..

...but still, he dies in the end.

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

It was BARELY dealt with, at BEST. Garp's other son seemed completely unaffected by his brother's demise, due to a complete lack of any scenes of him grieving. In fact, he seemed rather joyous that he was missing an eyeball and a brother. That alone would make this a poorly adapted sequence.

And yes, Garp was angry and projected that rage onto his wife for her transgression, and they both collapse into sobbing messes when they forgive each other, but their reconciliation is so quick (that entire part is over in, like, 5 to 7 minutes) that it renders the kid's death meaningless. It's just a horrendously botched sequence, no matter how you attempt to poorly rationalize it.

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

I liked the movie, but I agree I didn't really understand that Walt had died because they didn't handle his death like most movies would have. So of course I was very confused about his ending for some time. I also thought Garp's death was a little underplayed but that is just me.

Bleep can be used to signify pleasure. Jane bleeped john." George Carlin

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

This movie is based on probably my favorite book of all, and I read a lot. I'm lucky to have an autographed hardbound edition. Anyway, as someone else has pointed out, Walt also dies in the book. It is understated there as well. John Irving describes the scene just as the movie had it, with the Volvo rolling up the driveway. But then the crash happens. Irving describes it in the book in this manner: "While wrestlers have very strong necks, the children of wrestlers don't necessarily have strong necks." That's not an exact quote, but it's close. He doesn't say "Walt is killed in the wreck."

Death is especially big in the book. In fact, (SPOILER COMING AT YOU SO WATCH OUT!) everyone dies. Every single character, no matter how insignificant, dies. At the end of the book, Irving writes "IN the world according to Garp, we are all terminal cases."

I found the movie to be only average, it doesn't get the flavor of the book. As always the book is much deeper, but in this one especially so. Read it, and find out about "Mrs. Ralph", a character that isn't in the movie. It's a scream.

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

I know the original poster will probably never read this, but I have to ask.

How did you get an autographed copy? I went to hear Irving do a reading from A Widow for One Year (before it was published). I brought all of my 1st edition hardbacks (have them all) hoping to get them autographed. One of the first things he said was "I don't sign books."

With regard to the way Walt's death is dealt with (in both the book and the movie): yes, Garp doesn't handle it the way most people would...as the movie's tagline said, "He's got a funny way of looking at life".

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Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

Yeah, but it's understated in the book in an artful way that makes total sense. However, when adapted to the visual medium, where we can clearly see the other son not giving two craps that he's lost an eye and a beloved brother, it works poorly. A change was in order for this part.

It's just too bad they tried following the book slavishly (except for many important details that are absent because, "Lol, why would we ever want to make a GOOD adaptation? Let's just ruin it completely via omission of key context for almost everything!"), to the point of damaging the adaptation beyond repair.

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

In the book, the same thing happens, about 40 or so pages pass before we even hear anyone talk about Walt's death. You're supposed to wonder. You're supposed to look for that moment. That tension is part of the genius of the book.

Everyone who has read the book has noticed this "grieving" or "explanation" gap. They had so many mixed emotions at the time because Garp's wife's infidelity is what caused Walt's death. It was pure John Irving satire...and that's why this movie is so perfect. (The book within the book about the bear was about the only thing missing from the movie. It was alluded to in the movie in conversations.)

We crusty 40-somethings all read it in college back in the 70s. I remember as one of the most popular books ever to hit campuses back then. That's why they had to make it into a movie. The pre-publicity was enormous.

GARP is one of the first movies I ever bought and one that I will always love.

Don't let little things bother you...everything is a little thing. :)

Enrique Sanchez

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

Garp's wife's infidelity is one factor leading to the cause of Walt's death. If her lover's car had not been in the driveway, then Garp would not have run into it. But it is not the only cause of his death.

In a way, Walt's death is foreshadowed in the movie when Garp and his wife are driving home one night (the night he cheats with the babysitter) and she tells him, "I wish you wouldn't do this (meaning putting the car in neutral and turning off the headlights). It's dangerous and silly." Garp says, "The kids love it. It's like flying." If Garp had not been driving recklessly, he would have had time to see the car in the driveway and not run into it.

Also, if you want to see it another way, she would not have been cheating on him if he had not cheated on her with the babysitter. True, shame on her for mistakenly believing that two wrongs make a right.

I love this movie and have loved it ever since I saw it when I was a little kid and my mom rented it for us to watch. I, too, was confused as a little kid as to what had happened to Walt. When I saw it again when I was older, I liked the way it was handled. The movie has enough sadness and funerals in it already, and more to come, that I really think the way it was dealt with was as good as anyone could have asked for. Having more grief and sadness, I think, would have made it worse. It's perfect the way it is.

I am inerested to know how any of ya'll would have written or directed it?

PLEASE REPLY!!



Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father...prepare to die!

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

Dear Barnett:

Good answer! I agreed with everything you had to say about Garp. (I'm not much fun, am?)...as for how I would have directed it? Gee, I never thought about it much. The movie stands very well as it is, IMHO.

Take good care,

Enrique Sanchez

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

Honestly, I actually like the fct that they didn't handle the death the way other movies would. It's refreshing to see a different way in dealing with the subject. And, just because we don't see every detail on screen doesn't mean it didn't happne. Becuse the family is in the anger stage, they must have gone through the shocking realization, the funeral, etc. Sometimes, it isn't necessary to show the audience everything. In this case, it would have dragged the movie to a screeching halt.

T

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

YOU WROTE:

Honestly, I actually like the fct that they didn't handle the death the way other movies would. It's refreshing to see a different way in dealing with the subject. And, just because we don't see every detail on screen doesn't mean it didn't happne. Becuse the family is in the anger stage, they must have gone through the shocking realization, the funeral, etc. Sometimes, it isn't necessary to show the audience everything. In this case, it would have dragged the movie to a screeching halt.

T

I WROTE:

Dear Terry:

EXACTLY!!!! very well said!

Enrique

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

Even though it's never explicitly said, I pretty much knew that Walt had died... there's such a sense of doom around everything he does, I was expecting him to die in almost every scene.

Very well done.

If they don't listen, it might be because of that magic button between TAB and SHIFT

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

As many times as I've seen this movie I've never been able to watch it in its entirety for whatever reason but that scene where Garp runs into Milton's car in the driveway I thought it was intentional, until reading here that he did that little stunt to impress his boys. I often wondered why he wasn't thrown in jail or something for reckless endangerment, involuntary manslaugher or something but your explanation clears it up. Thanks.

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"I don't love you enough to hate you!!"

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

...and if Walt was wearing a seatbelt....

Now would someone tell my why in this day and age that people still do not wear their friggin' seatbelts?? Don't they ever read articles about someone dying in a car crash, that they were "thrown from the vehicle", which means that they weren't wearing their seatbelt.

I can understand/see the motivation for people speeding - the thrill, getting somewhere faster, etc. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this is right, but at least there's a somewhat logical reason. But what's the motivation for not put your seatbelt on? Is it THAT uncomfortable???? Or did they're parents not drill it into their heads when they were young?

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Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

Enrique-8 said:
"Garp's wife's infidelity is what caused Walt's death."


It was Garps' choice to run the car he was sitting in with the kids into that other guys car.
He killed his son and maimed the other one.
I find that terribly disturbing.
More disturbing is that he doesn't aknowledge his guilt.

I don't like Garp at all.

---Grtz----------M1r4-->

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Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

Thank you, Miora. You are the only one possessed of the ability to intelligently analyse what you watch, instead of just loving something for no reason other than sentimentality/nostalgia, in this entire thread. Garp is an unlikable prick for almost the entire movie, and what you stated is a large reason why.

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

Um, no. It's nothing resembling "perfect" whatsoever. More like "horribly botched."

When you adapt things to the visual medium, sometimes changes are necessary. For this particular sequence, a change was clearly necessary. Too bad we didn't get it, due to the puzzling focus on slavish adaptation of basic plots and subplots, whilst remaining wildly unfocused and incomplete in regards to key context and details.

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

It's fairly underplayed in the book, as well. In fact, several years go by after the accident before Irving even gets back to the fact that "Oh, in case you weren't paying attention, Walt died in the accident."

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

Yes, but it's done in a FAR more artful and logical manner.

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

I did feel they were actually both greiving, but yes, it was glossed over a little.

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

I agree. I seemed to cry and grieve more than the parents over Walt's death, so much so that the infidelity took a quick back seat, not that that wasn't bad enough.

PCL

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

Actually I liked the way they handled it. It left "loose ends" the same way a sudden unprepared death would do. Remember how in the old movies, some charactger would whip out a cigar box or something and say, "That's all that left of my father." and it would seem abrupt and almost obscene. The screeching noises and grainy still photo suggested: This was his last memory and experience. This fleeting and innocent moment was his last. He has no legacy other than his smile and charm. This is all that is left of him now. It had an abrupt finality, and is much more effective and moving than showing a bloody body.

Notice how the sound and picture suddenly "runs out" at the end of the crucifixion scene in Jesus Christ Superstar. Sudden silence after heavy chords. Same principle.


"When you throw dirt, you lose ground" --old proverb

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

No one asked for a bloody body, dummy. It just doesn't work the same way in the visual medium, as it does in the book. When you look at the dead kid's brother in the movie, and you see that he not only gives zero craps that his brother is dead, but that he also appears to be joyous that he LOST AN EYE, a change is absolutely necessary in order to preserve believability and keep it from being jarring. However, the movie utterly failed in this regard. That is just the cold hard truth.

P.S. - I'm fine with the still image of the kid and all that jazz. It's the aftermath, and the utterly jarring, disjointed way in which it's done, that's horribly botched.

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

I just finished the book today and, while I'll have to go back and read it, it seems to me that the book doesn't make it altogether clear that Walt died for nearly a chapter after the accident.

He's not mentioned in the initial description, and then eventually his absence becomes very obvious.

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Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

please dont tell me you think the "family" man Garp is more

incensed with his wife cheating, than his son losing his life

because of his wife cheating?

there are always results.

as someone pointed out, Garp and his wife both got together

and thought of Walt.

wake up sex crazed world.

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

NO!!!!!!!!!

The reason the book and the movie treat Walt's death this way is because, as in most human's way of dealing with death, it isnt talked about right away. When someone close to you dies, usually you dont talk (at all really) about it. Others dont talk to you about it because they are uncomfortable and dont know what to say.

Think about it logically and realistically people. In MOST CASES, arrangements are made, grieving is done, but the family members who have lost the person, dont really talk at all. People dont really see this because they see all the friends and aquantences "remember the good times" and "giving condolences" and telling others what happened. But its the family members or close close loved ones who are too grief stricken to talk about them until later.

THAT is what Irving it trying to convey.

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

And that works perfectly in the book. However, in a visual medium where it appears that the kid's brother gives zero craps about his death, and somehow appears to also give zero craps about his missing eye, it is clear that a change was needed here in order to be more believable.

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

I disagree. I think this falls directly in line with the story line. did you not see the film? The characaters are always at deaths door and jenny Fields is a lightning rod for this bad luck, Garp fights about this fact throught the whole film with his mother and others, this is why it has such meaning.

The death of Walt had to happen, there had to be a wall hit. (wall =walt..cool)

Re: The ONE thing that bothered me about this movie…

I really don't think you understood the question.

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