Surprisingly I haven’t previously watched Pleasantville when it came out in 1998. I lack movie cultural significantly, the television wasn’t a frequent babysitter in my childhood. Pleasantville was a very enjoyable movie; the soundtrack for the film is excellent. Like “At Last” by Etta James and “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck Quartet, one of my all time favorite songs. This song fits so perfectly during one of my favorite parts of the film when Tobey Maguire’s character enters his work place, the local soda fountain owned by Mr. Johnson, and finds everyone to be dead silent looking at him. They all have curious questions of what exist outside Pleasantville. Tobey’s character attempts to describe the customs of the 1990s, what firefighters occupation actually is and begins to tell stories of classic novels such as The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn to his strongly captivated audience. The jazz piece “Take Five” is so fitting for this moment is because the distinctly different yet catch sound emphasized what the citizens of Pleasantville were experiencing.
The idea of color in this movie reminds me of the concept of color in the novel Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. Where black, white and grey represents dull living in contrast to colorful life. There is a social reference in the film about segregation, a shot of a shop or restaurant with a sign stating No Colors. The literally and figurative meaning of this sign is priceless. Overall I love this movie, for more than just my love for vintage 1950s lifestyle, but for the historical revisit, the satirical elements and the underlying message of there is no right way to live life. Yes we might live in a dysfunctional world, but the beauty of life is moving and passionate.