John Q, Directed by Nick Cassavettes
Question: Feature films can reinforce and/or question what is important to society at particular times. Discuss how John Q performs one or both of these social functions.
Society is constantly changing to make the world a better place to live in. This is why we need to be informed regularly of the issues we have in the world. A lot of issues are not really being discussed in print media therefore these issues are presented to the society through other mediums such as films, documentaries and even television series. The movie John Q, directed by Nick Cassavettes, and starring Denzel Washington, is a movie that makes us, the audience, realise the terrible life that one has to go through because of this holes in this modern society. The movie tells how a father, John Archibald, with severe financial problems goes through many challenges to tackle the uncompassionate hospital administrators in order to save his one and only son, Michael, from dying of an enlarged heart. The movie has been presented in a way that is not only gripping and entertaining but also in a way to position the audience, to relate and sympathise with the characters of the movie using film techniques such as shot size, lighting, music and dialogue. The movie reinforces the importance of families during tough times and makes us consider the issues that arise within the film such as one-sided and money driven health care system, badly managed employer controlled insurance and the way that different social classes are not being accepted equally in the society.
Health care is an essential ingredient to every human being’s survival. According to the movie 40 million Americans out of the total population of around 270 million in the US is uninsured. If these 40 million people can’t even afford insurance then they definitely can’t afford expensive treatments such as a heart transplant, a person may require in his/her life span. In the US you will either need money or insurance to get a proper treatment. In John Q, a male nurse actually states that “if you don’t have any money, got a band-aid, a foot in the a**, and you’re out the door”. Employer controlled insurance is used very commonly in the US, where the employer “helps” you to manage insurance. This should be convenient and effective for the employees, but in John Q, or even in the reality, it has caused many problems. In this movie, John’s has changed from full-time to part-time and apparently his employer had changed insurance carriers. This is caused many problems for John Archibald, because at first he was not very much worried when he thought that his insurance could cover his son’s surgery’s fees, but after he went to see his employer to ask about his insurance he was shocked. The scene when he was talking to his employer had many close-ups on John’s face to show his sad emotions. Other scenes that confront the audience of the difficulties that John had to go through in the result...