Rate this paper
  • Currently rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
4.62 / 8
Paper Topic:

sybolism in the closely watched trains

Movie Closely Watched Trains is a rather harsh criticism of the then current political situation of Soviet invasion in Czechoslovakia while investigating the isolation of Czech youth . Yet what makes this film so remarkable is its analysis of both human and social conditions without an ounce of pretension or overbearing agenda . Menzel 's form is so light-hearted and simple that , despite the bleak subject matter and social critique , Closely Watched Trains not only loves life , it celebrates it amidst social turmoil

I pursued three fundamental issues recurring in the movie (1

The issue of "delayed responses " such as Milos ' development from boy to man , the locals ' understanding of war and occupation and the contemporary response (as of publication ) of Czechoslovaks to Communist rule (2 ) The issue of "ongoing servitude " both as a theme in the movie and as an element of Czech history , and how that servitude has suddenly transformed in the past ten years (3 ) The issue of "ironic bad luck seen everywhere in the movie (and a fundamental darkly humorous aspect of Hrabal 's writings , as well as a quirky element of Czech culture

The plot of this heavily symbolic , sometimes surrealist piece is rather difficult to sum up in a brief way . I spent some time on the symbolism in the movie , since it 's a dominant aspect . The story opens with a huge , dark wing floating over the town . Other symbols worth exploring : eyes watching from behind windows , ticking clocks (and snowflakes , watches , timetables , etc , uniforms and uniformities pigeon-keeping , the ventilator shaft , dead horses with their feet in the air , the bricklayer as God installing fire extinguishers , rubber stamps striped pajamas , marching feet , furniture

The genius of the film is that it is deceptively innocent . Like the employees of the train station it depicts , Closely Watched Trains seems pretty disinterested with the Nazi activity passing through Trains carrying ammunition and soldiers (the "closely watched trains " of the title , as well as other Nazi supplies , roll through the humble train station but trainee Milos Hrma (Vaclav Neckar ) is more interested in doing as little work as possible while developing his romantic manhood (The significance of trains as a method of transporting the doomed to concentration camps is never explicitly mentioned , but the imagery is always there . Czechs talk about the cattle and other livestock crammed into train cars without any thought given to their well-being . Even though the film mostly has a light tone , the darkness is never far from the surface

Seemingly belying its title , the film 's setting is a backwater station which trains nearly always skip as a stop . But gradually the real sense of this title becomes clear , referring to the German trains that were given priority passage through occupied Czechoslovakia to carry munitions and troops during World War II . And finally that meaning is in turn subverted : the last train is indeed closely guarded , leading to the death of the central figure , but not before his own close surveillance is rewarded . Given...

Not the Essay You're looking for? Get a custom essay (only for $12.99)