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Example of Film Critique Essay About Philadelphia


Philadelphia is an American drama film released in 1993 that reveals the problems of homophobia, homosexuality, and HIV/AIDS. The main character of this movie was Andrew Beckett that underwent grief, stress, and depression because of the necessity to hide his status as an AIDS patient and homosexual. It means that he suffered both psychologically and morally as he was fired from his law firm in fear that he could spread AIDS to other employees. Consequently, this paper intends to analyze Andrew Beckett’s stages of grief, his transition through these stages, describes the strategies used to help the main character and suggest other strategies that could help him.


The Tragedy of Andrew Beckett

Andrew Beckett deals with the following stages of grief: denial and isolation, depression, anger, and bargaining. At the stage of denial and isolation, the character understands that the society will not accept him as the guy with an AIDS status; therefore, he tries to hide this. Andrew Beckett feels depressed because he is dismissed from his work as his partners reveal his secrets that are unacceptable for them (Philadelphia n.p.). Furthermore, the man feels anger as he asks one lawyer for help, but he refuses him as he is afraid to contract AIDS. At the stage of bargaining, Beckett looks for support and tries to persuade people that AIDS cannot be spread through hands shakes. There is no stage of acceptance as Beckett dies achieving only collaboration with Miller.

The main character transitioned through stages of denial, anger, bargaining, and depression. It means that Andrew Beckett struggles for his place in the community trying to persuade people that he cannot bring harm to them. He suffers from injuries and lesion; nobody expresses sympathy to him but, instead, strive for his isolation. However, Andrew Beckett does not achieve the stage of acceptance because of the seriousness of his disease that resulted in the inability to integrate into the community that is cruel and violent because of poor knowledge and stereotypical perception of guys and people with AIDS status (Philadelphia n.p.).

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The behaviors corresponding to the transition are the following: finding the lawyer, looking for the possibility to work, and trying to prove that he is safe for other people. The problem is that Andrew Beckett is lonely in his struggle; therefore, he is weak and unable to protect his position.

One should say that the tragedy of Andrew Beckett is that he did not use enough strategies to work through the grief stages. The first strategy that was employed was the support of his guy friend and doctor. However, other people were homophobic about his AIDS status. The second strategy was taking care of himself. Andrew Beckett tried to receive the necessary treatment and prove to others that he could work on equal terms with other people. However, he failed because he faced indifference, cruelty, and violence even from his partners.

To my mind, Andrew Beckett should look for other strategies to deal with his grief. First of all, he should find another job where he could be accepted with his AIDS status. Moreover, he should not pay much attention to it but enjoy his life. Second, he should spend more time with his homosexual friend who loved and supported him. Consequently, before death, he would have more pleasant moments and memories than lawsuits and negative relationships with cruel people.

Film Critique Essay Summary

In conclusion, it is necessary to say that Philadelphia is not the movie about the life of people who suffer from AIDS status but about stereotypes about homosexuals and AIDS that make people undergo grief and feel totally isolated and lonely in the society full of people.

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