Pay it Forward is an inspirational movie, which was based on a novel of the same title by Catherine Ryan Hyde. The movie started with an assignment that a seventh-grade Social Studies teacher, Mr. Simonet (Kevin Spacey), gave his students. He tasked them to think of an act that can possibly change the world and put it into action. One child in particular, Trevor McKinney (Haley Joel Osment), made a concept that could make the world a better place or even a utopia. That concept was “pay it forward,” wherein he would do something good for three different people and in turn, those three would also do well to others, and so on. It is a movie that hopes to influence others and lead them away from selfishness.
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The movie, Pay it Forward, was directed by Mimi Leder, which I thought did a really great job because the angles, the cinematography, and the movie, as a whole, was amazing; she really brought the script to life. The main actors, Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, and Haley Joel Osment, did the characters justice. They fit their roles well and portrayed the emotions needed for each scene. It was truly worth watching for not a lot of movies address the issue that our society is still currently facing and that is the lack of compassion for one another. It shows the importance of doing good to your fellowmen and focus on things that is not only good for yourself but also for those around you. The movie challenges the people to change their perspective on the world and start caring for one another for we never know how even our simplest act of kindness can affect another’s life. In terms of the performance of the actors, I believe they were perfect. Everyone, from the main characters up to the supporting characters, made the movie more believable and more realistic. They portrayed each and every role, as they should be by showing the emotions that the scenes require. Each actor internalized their character and delivered their lines in a way that they would be able to reach their audience’s hearts. Though, Haley Joel Osment as Trevor Mckinney was the best for me. Even at a young age, he was able to display his gift in acting and show how innocent and brave Trevor is, and I could not think of any other child actor that could do better than he did in portraying Trevor.
On the other hand, the production designs and the setting, in my perspective, were good but I do believe it could be better. The production designs were perfect for some scenes like the school and the house but at some, it was almost impossible to comprehend where the scene is. Also, the story itself is set in Las Vegas, which the movie lacked to emphasize. I would not have guessed that it was all happening there. Also, the first things that pop in most people’s minds when they hear Las Vegas are the casinos, the gambling, and the city lights but the film had almost none of those. I wished that they show more of the essence of Las Vegas in order for the audience to actually know the setting because the setting greatly affects a story, which gives it a great significance in a film.
Meanwhile, the effects were great but the editing was also lacking. The effects were perfectly placed where they should be and it gave the scenes more depth. The effects are really important in a film for it helps in emphasizing the important happenings in a scene and it also helps in evoking the emotions that the movie wants from its audience, and I believe that the effects from the movie did that. The effects made me understand what the characters are feeling at that certain event and it made me feel that way too, which is why the effects were effective and well executed. Although, the editing for me was confusing and it needed work. It was not terrible but I do know that the plot had a lot of potential and with better editing; the movie could have been more successful. The transitions were not as clear as they should be; I was lost at a lot of parts in the movie. I did not comprehend that the timeline of Trevor’s story and the journalist’s was different, and that the story was switching from the past to the present. I only truly realized it when they met each other. With better editing, the movie could have been a lot better than it is now.
All in all, the movie certainly had its ups and downs, like everything in this world do, but it did deliver the message that it was supposed to. Even though, some aspects of the movie still needed work, it is still a beautiful and an inspirational movie. Despite of all its flaws, it convinced me to be the change that I want the world to be for as a lot of people would say, change starts with one’s self. It shown me that doing a small act of kindness could really go a long way and it could even possibly change the world by making it a better place for everyone and everything. It is not a perfect movie but it is a movie that could open the eyes of many, and I think that that is what matters most. Being able to influence its viewers to not think about selfishness and greed, and being able to make them realize that people should be more compassionate towards others is not easy.
Pay it Forward is a movie that I will surely watch again for it is not only entertaining but it also has a lesson. I strongly recommend that others would watch it too for it is truly not a waste of time and it changes how one would look at the world.