April 28, 2010
Pleasantville is a flashback to the past. In this movie you have 21st century teens transported back in time to the 1950’s in a television show known as Pleasantville. The teens experience culture shock and are uncomfortable in their new surroundings, at least Jennifer is. David will embrace this time and environment as a familiarity. Jennifer and David must now play two well behaved and educated children, Bud and Mary Sue during their stay. It is their job to play these roles until the television repairman chooses to free them and bring them home.
During their stay these two teens bring about social change to the once pleasant Pleasantville. David/Bud tries to play his role exactly as its written. Jennifer/ Mary Sue has another idea. She chooses to go against her characters role. Mary Sue begins change the line of the story by bringing new ideas and forbidden actions to the town. Her actions are unusual and easily accepted by the other teenagers.
Mary Sue’s date with Skip is the catalyst for drastic changes in Pleasantville. Routines and daily activities are thrown off. The people of Pleasantville are confused and don’t know how to react to these radical changes. An example of this is the owner of the soda show Bill Johnson. He has a routine of working alongside Bud and when Bud doesn’t do his normal tasks Bill is thrown off. Bud convinces Bill to be independent and do things on his own. From this moment on Bill is able to begin to think for himself. He now wants to embrace this artistic talent he has discovered. He longs to use colors and paint more often instead of painting once a year at Christmas. Bill even paints a nude picture of Betty in the window of the shop. This upsets the townspeople with his “blatant display of immorality.” (Bynum 1998)
As the teenagers began to change and find new freedoms colors start to appear. Mary Sue’s date with Skip leads to the first object, a...