American Beauty is an award winning film directed by Sam Mendes. It stars Kevin Spacey playing the main character, Lester Burnham, a middle aged father living in a suburban neighborhood and going though a mid life crisis. He grows very bored with his life as he doesn’t portray any enthusiasm. He then starts viewing life differently and goes though some changes.
The opening scene is Spacey’s monologue of Lester speaking to the audience about his life. He introduces himself as well as other aspects of his life that seems pretty typical and in the norm. Although, he goes on to mention the fact that he’s going to be dead in less than a year. This immediately captures the audience’s attention yearning to know why he’s going to be dead. The audience will wonder what events will lead up to his death? What’s the reason for his death? and so on. The music that plays throughout the monologue gives off a mysterious sense. As the music is playing and Spacey is speaking, there’s another layer that’s rather peculiar.
He further describes his mundane everyday life, and introduces other characters including his family. The audiences still ponders how his life goes from here and how it dramatically changes. The music crescendos towards the ending of the monologue. This adds to the buildup to when Lester says,”It’s never too late, to get it back”. That indicates that the viewers will witness how his life dramatically changes for the better, or the worse.