活動名稱:2016英語影評口說徵選
競賽影片Holes(別有洞天)
推薦作品:臺北市立第一女中 江旭 同學 



Adapted from the 1998 eponymous novel by Louis Sachar, “Holes” was an adventure comedy-drama film released in 2003. The film is directed by talented Andrew Davis and is a story of limited omniscient point of view. Wrongly accused of stealing sneakers from a well-known baseball player, hapless teenage boy Stanley Yelnats is sent to Camp Green Lake as retribution, which a century ago was flourished with trees and water, but is now arid desert pockmarked by thousands of holes the convicts have been obliged to dig over the years in the parched ground. Along with marvelous sound effect and skillful acting, I had the enjoyment of watching this movie. The sound effect does enrich the viewing experience and emphasize the serious tone of the film. Each actor is worth noting but Khleo Thomas (as Hector Zeroni) was a standout, he interpreted the role successfully and brilliantly. The film is developed primarily through a series of flashbacks—Latvian mishaps of the first Stanley’s youth and the tragic interracial romance between an onion picker named Sam and a local schoolteacher named Katherine Barlow. Making good use of flashbacks, the film revealed the legacies of Stanley and Warden historically and effectively drew the audience further into the film. Although the screenplay was written by Louis Sachar himself, there's still distinction between the original novel and the film. In the novel, Stanley was described as overweight, but in the film he is rather lanky. I gathered that filmmaker decided to give him a slender look in order to fit the American beauty standard, which came as quite a surprise to me how appearance does matter a lot in our world nowadays. Accumulating multiple layers of meaning in the film are a series of symbols, applied on one hand to the onions, and on the other to water. Onions serve as a life-affirming symbol in the film: the onion picker Sam is always optimistic and buoyant. “The ancient Egyptians knew the secrets of the onions. How its potent juices can cure stomachaches and toothaches, measles and mumps, rheumatism, and hemorrhoids.” Onions also signify protective and healing. Sam was keen on helping cure people with his onion remedies. Furthermore, it is the onion Zero and Stanley had eaten that ward off the lizard. Water can be referred to as an emblem of either retribution or redemption in the story. In the backstory, God punished the townsfolk for Sam’s barbarous murder by drying up the Green lake. At one point, zero and Stanley run off into the desert, where they put themselves in serious danger of perishing, however, they found water on the god’s thumb and miraculously survived. At the end of the film, it begins to rain at Green Lake again for the first time in over a hundred years. As a whole ,“Holes” was comedic, tragic, and bleak all at the same time. The plot, setting, acting and cinematography were marvelous and contributed to making the film highly amusing and hugely beloved of all ages.

 



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