Analysis of the Movie The Soloist
Analysisof the Movie: TheSoloist
Analysisof the Movie: The Soloist
TheSoloistis a film that tells the story of Nathaniel Ayers, a musicianstruggling with schizophrenia and his interaction with a journalistfrom The Los Angeles Times named Steve Lopez. The two meet when Ayerswas homeless and sleeping on the Streets of Las Angeles. The film,particularly through the character of Nathaniel Ayers provides anopportunity for audiences to learn about the effects of schizophreniaon the behaviors, perceptions, words, and thought patterns of peoplestruggling with Schizophrenia.
Asthe story begins, Steve Lopez falls off his bicycle and sustainsminor bruises on his face. With his desperation for a story to writeabout, Lopez encounters Nathaniel Ayers playing his cello on thestreets of LA. The conversation that ensues between the twogentlemen reveals that everything is not right with Ayers’ mind. Mr. Ayers apologizes for his “poor appearance” (Foster, Krasnoff,& Wright, 2009). He attributes his untidy status to “a fewsetbacks.” The audiences come to learn of the setbacks that Ayersis talking about when he starts repeating and spelling out names thatcome from Lopez’ s mouth. For instance, when Lopez says “my nameis Steve Lopez” Ayers repeats “Steve Lopez.” Ayers continue tospell out Lopez’s full name. He introduces himself as “NathanielAyers” and continues to spell out his name too. Throughout thefilm, Ayers manifest symptoms of a person who is suffering fromschizophrenia such as delusions, disordered thinking, hallucinations,and social withdrawal (Foster et al., 2009).
Hisschizophrenic condition can be attributed to environmental factors.One can deduce that he had a troubled childhood. This is becausesince he was young, he has been using music to bring joy to histroubled life. This is evident from her mother’s words after sherealized that her son had exceptional skills in playing musicalinstruments. She told him, "You have a beautiful talent, andthis is your way out." Her mother`s statement shows that even asa child Ayers life was still difficult and music was the only way ofovercoming his challenges. It is while trying to run away from histroubles that music became obsessed with music (Foster et al., 2009).
Ayeris suffering from Schizophrenia as seen in his reality-impairedcharacter. He does not admit that he has a mental condition,particularly schizophrenia. For instance, his sister tries to makehim sign the documents admitting that he was schizophrenic. Insteadof signing the document, Ayers reacts violently towards his sister(Foster et al., 2009). It is evident that Ayers does not show anysign that he could be suffering from any personality disorder. Apartfrom his denial that he could be schizophrenic, Ayers shows intenseemotions towards two things his cello and Lopez. When playing thecello, the audience can see emotions of beauty, pain, passion, andlove in his eyes. When it comes to Lopez, Ayers consider him as “hisgod.” At the beginning of the film, Lopez was just a Las Angelesreporter trying to find a good story to save his career. However,with the time, the friendship between the two grows rapidly (Fosteret al., 2009).
Inthe film, TheSoloist,Ayers is diagnosed with schizophrenia. This is evident from thedocument that Lopez is trying to get Ayers to sign admitting that hewas schizophrenic. After the diagnosis, Lopez starts researching onways of helping Ayers overcome his problem. Firstly, he realizes thatAyers starts getting better the more their friendship grows. However,after Lopez’s attempt to trick Ayers into admitting that he wasschizophrenic fails, the latter’s condition starts worsening. Afterhis relationship with Nathanael become stale, Lopez starts trackingdown Ayer’s relatives. Social bonds seem to have a positive effecton Ayers’ condition. The family bond between Ayers and his sisterseem to have a therapeutic effect on him. The fact that Ayers hadstarted responding positively after meeting his sister shows thathuman connections act as a crucial step towards recovery. Hiscondition only worsens when his sister insist that he admits that heis schizophrenic. Besides, Nathanael shows improvement as thefriendship between him and Lopez grows. For this reason, I wouldadvise Lopez to continue working on his friendship with Ayers (Fosteret al., 2009).
Ibelieve that Nathaniel Ayers is struggling with paranoidschizophrenia. His behaviors show that he is in between the activeand residue phases of the diseases. The active phase is evident inthe way Ayers experiences uncontrollable hallucinations and delusionsthat subside only when Lopez is with him. Sometimes, the conditionwould worsen, and he would become violent. On the other, there aretimes when Nathanael maintains a high level of hygiene. For instance,when Lopez gives him an apartment he ensures that it is tidy (Fosteret al., 2009).
Afterdiagnosing Ayers with paranoid schizophrenia, I findneurotransmitters as the best form of treatment for his condition. Tostart with, I will recommend that Ayers take phenothiazine to helpreduce the hallucinations that he is experiencing. Additionally, itis evident that he is having mood swings as seen in the way heresponds to his sister’s insistence that he should declare himselfto be schizophrenic. In addition to reducing the delusions, thephenothiazine will help keep his moods under control. However, ifthe phenothiazine fails to work, I will prescribe amphetamines whichserve to increase the levels of dopamine in a patient’s brain.
Inclusion,the film TheSoloist,did a marvelous job in its depiction of the challenges thatschizophrenic people go through, particularly when they areneglected. I believe that the film has depicted most of the symptomsassociated with the condition accurately. For instance, the personwho plays the character of Nathanael Ayers in the film has speechproblems and suffers from delusions which are symptoms associatedwith schizophrenia. However, I believe that the film did very littlein terms of portraying the various remedies for treatingschizophrenia.
Foster,G., Krasnoff, R., & Wright, J. (2009). The Soloist. UnitedStates: Paramount Pictures.
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