CUSTODIO, Rafeea J.4Journalism1A tragedy is a representation not of human beings but of actions and life (Leitch, 2010). Sophocle’s literary work “Oedipus Rex” is dubbed as one of the most sought tragic literature of all time.
Oedipus Rex set the bar high for tragic literature. In today’s era, “Restless” by Gus Van Sant is a contemporary equivalent of Sophocle’s Oedipus Rex thus, it satisfies the “ideal” tragedy of Aristotle. To further discuss the Restless, it is about a man named Enoch who is very fond of death, he is very interested in murders and who always go to random funerals.
The other character is Annabel, a girl who has a brain tumor and been given three months to live. Hiroshi Takahashi is the third and last major character of restless; he is basically a ghost/ imaginary friend of Enoch who died in World War II as a kamikaze pilot. Tragedy as a whole necessarily has six parts, according to which tragedy is of a certain sort. These are the plot, characters, diction, reasoning, spectacle, and song (Leitch, 2010).
Aristotle argued that in order to have a good tragic literary work it must contain the six parts. But the plot of every story makes up a good tragic literature. Leitch asserted that the most important things with which a tragedy enthralls people to eat parts of plot-reversals and recognition ( 2010).
So the plot is the origin and as it were the soul of tragedy, and the characters are secondary ( Leitch, 2010). But a good plot consists of complete (Beginning, middle, ending), magnitude, unified, necessity and probability. In the story of restless, the plot satisfies the idea of a good tragic literature of Aristotle. Annabel’s health problem functions as the primary tool in recognizing the plot of the story.
She lives a normal life even with brain cancer and even engaged in a relationship with Enoch who tries but struggling in coping up with the death of his parents. Enoch survived the near-death experienced that made him suffer from comatose. Enoch loves to visit in funerals then, which, is where he met his ghost friend Hiroshi and Annabel of course. Their love bloomed and boomed despite surrounded by cancer and grieves.
They made each moment count; they walk through nature, trek, and swim. Annabel postponed chemotherapy, avoided several treatments and seemed that she is in a good manner knowing that she is a terminal cancer patient. Just like any other tragedy, this movie ended with the death of Annabel and making Enoch grief not just for his family members who died at the plane crash but also for his girlfriend who died with cancer.
Happiness and unhappiness lie in action, and the end of life is a sort of action, not a quality; people are of a certain sort to their characters; but happy or the opposite’ according to their actions (Leitch, 2010). Restless is not a shallow romantic tragedy film but both Annabel and Enoch became thieves of happiness knowing death is inevitable. The shadow of death and the element of illness mirrors tragedy.
Reference: • Leitch, V. B. (2010). The Norton anthology of theory and criticism. New York: W. W.
Norton & Co.