Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Woman in Black Plot Design, Discussion and Analysis

The Woman in Black movie plot is intriguing. When we think of the movie plot, The Sixth Sense movie comes to mind. The Woman in Black movie features touching movie ending. Ready to dissect The Woman in Black movie? The movie plot will be explained out of sequence.

***Movie Spoiler***

In the opening scene, three young girls jump out of the window. Why do these girls jump to the death? The woman in black curses all children in the town. She died an unhappy woman, making her hatred manifest into vengeance. Children are unable to fight the woman in black's evil because she possesses them. 

Arthur reflects back on his deceased wife. He hasn't come to terms yet. Ever since Arthur lost his wife four years prior, his life has fallen apart. We see a collection notice in his bag. Little Joseph is possibly the only person in the world that is keeping Arthur from committing suicide.

At a law firm, Arthur discusses his upcoming job. He is expected to review documents in an estate. This estate belongs to the woman in black, who committed suicide shortly after her son died in a carriage accident.

On the train, Arthur has a dream about his wife's death. The wife passed away during the childbirth process. She never meets Joseph. This plot point (dream sequence) sets up the movie ending. 

Arthur meets Mr. Daily after he wakes from the bad dream. Mr. Daily is a friendly businessman who is interested in Arthur's travels. Meeting Dr. Daily is important to the movie plot. Mr. Daily connects Arthur with his wife. 

Mrs. Daily carves the woman in black on the dining table. While at her son's grave, Mrs. Daily confirms the existence of the woman in black. It is important to meet Mr. and Mrs. Daily. 

The innkeeper refuses to give Arthur a room because he realizes the danger of the woman in black. Arthur is placed in the exact room where the three girls commit suicide, as shown in the opening sequence. The town is unaccommodating to Arthur, knowing their children are now in danger. 

The woman in black resides in her estate. Arthur's document task awakens the woman's spirit. Hence, he begins to experience strange experiences that continue to worsen. Another good plot point is showing the son's carriage accident to connect us to the movie ending. 

The significance of the accident is to identify the motivation behind the woman in black's curse on children. The woman in black lost her son to a carriage accident along the road leading up to the estate. 

The fourth child to die - the young girl who swallows poison. Arthur holds the girl's lifeless body in the town sheriff building. At this moment, we figure out that the woman in black is reenergized to kill again.

The town's anger is obvious. We sense they're blaming Arthur for the young girl's death. However, the town never implies the woman in black is real. 

The town members refuse to let Mr. Daily and Arthur through the road. Mr. Daily tricks the moviegoers with agreeing to drop Arthur off at the train station. Instead of driving back the other way, Mr. Daily rolls down the road to disperse the resistance. 

Mr. Daily warns Arthur to avoid chasing after shadows. He is a nonbeliever in the superstitious, especially in the woman in black who previously lived in the estate. Mr. Daily lends his dog to Arthur. 

Most people know that pets can sense ghosts. Arthur experiences a terrible night. His superstitious level is now at 99%. 

Another young girl dies in a fire accident. Arthur sees the woman in black next to the burning girl. This is the last percentage to confirm there is a woman in black who has cursed the town.

Arthur decides to end the curse. He must save his son from the woman in black. Retrieving the deceased son in the mud to reunite with woman in black is deemed the only solution to save the town and little Joseph. The mud keeps the dead son's body intact. 

At the estate, Arthur prepares the son's body to reunite his spirit with the woman in black. On the other hand, Mr. Daily remains a nonbeliever. Arthur winds up all the toys to communicate to the woman in black. Mr. Daily's son appears from the distance. He walks to his son, only to be trapped inside a room. 

This is an important scene to show Mr. Daily that ghosts do exist. The woman in black moves up the hallway to darken the space. Arthur watches the woman retrieve her son's soul. Therefore, the estate quiets down, releasing an frightened and agitated Mr. Daily from the locked room. 

Arthur is hopeful that reuniting the woman with the son is enough to end the curse. In the movie ending, Arthur is joined together with his son. He hugs Joseph, thankful for seeing his son. 

Mr. Daily and Joseph meet on another. Arthur inform the housekeeper to purchase three train tickets to go back home. Mr. Daily offers Arthur and his family to stay at his home. Arthur is in a hurry to leave the town. We don't blame him after the frightening experiences. 

Back at the estate, the woman in black echoes that she will never forgive. This is no ordinary spirit, but a malicious entity who will continue to kill children to repent. She feeds off the deceased children. Their souls are like Freddie Krueger's children. Freddie is also another angry soul on a revenge mission.   

The woman in black lures Joseph away from Arthur. We sense that Arthur will run on the tracks to save his son. This is the moment the dream sequences are most prevalent to the movie ending. How does Arthur's grief, melancholy and inability to cope with his wife's passing connect the beginning to the end? 

Arthur's internal motivation is to reunite with his wife. He knows that committing suicide is morally wrong. Because suicide is viewed as a sin, Arthur realizes he will not go up to Heaven. 

Arthur's external motivation is to save his son. It is his first instinct. Thus, Arthur and Joseph are killed in the process. We never see their bodies collide with the train. The darkness that overshadows the train station is referred to as a motif to convey death. The woman in black darkens her estate to show the meaning of death.

The Woman in Black movie features many allegorical themes such as religious symbolism - manifesting hate leads to evil and rejecting suicide will deliver a good human to Heaven - dreams connect the living to the deceased, the dead who seek vengeance show no mercy for the living, the wife/mother represents  an Angel symbol, and reuniting the son with the mother is viewed as a putting a soul to rest. 

After Mr. Daily sees his son, he becomes a believer. He is no longer rejecting the superstitious. The estate experience enables him to look further into the train to see the woman in black with the children. This moment can be conceived as allegory to explore religion since a new believer opens their eyes to God through interpreting the Bible verses.

Arthur accepts death to reunite with his wife. He has waited four years. Introducing the son to his mother is a magic moment that defeats evil. The woman in black can only watch the happiness, though her vengeance will continue to wreak havoc on the town's children. 

We see The Woman in Black as a movie all about motifs and allegories. The metaphysical/ghost movie holds a number of interpretations to convey. There is no right or wrong perception of The Woman Inside movie. You can analyze the movie a number of ways.  

The movie ending is significant because it ties up all loose ends. Arthur reunited with the wife he dearly misses. Joseph meets his mother for the first time. The woman in black demonstrates that vengeance achieves nothing in the end. Nonbelievers can become believers through understanding the truth. The Woman in Black is a nicely written movie with good direction and great acting. In essence, the price of movie tickets is worth the experience to watch a brilliant movie.      

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