Five Easy Pieces is the 1970 film starring Jack Nicholson. He plays Bobby Dupea, an oil rig worker with a knack for playing the piano. He also has a tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend Rayette. However, he soon gets news from his estranged family that his father has suffered from two strokes. Bobby makes the trip home to see his family. Not surprisingly, the reasons why he didn’t become a pianist soon becomes clear when he clashes with his family. Can he make any attempt at reconciliation successful?
Viewers wondering why Bobby left a promising career as a concert pianist will get their answer really quickly as he visits his family. In fact, it looks like he is alienated because he can’t stand their snobbery. You do have to feel more sorry for Rayette, as not only does he sometimes treat her badly, he then abandons her for no good reason at the end of the movie, easily leading the viewer to imagine that she panicked and called the police. The movie takes a leisurely pace with no clear climax, but it fits the story as it is more concerned about exploring Bobby’s character than getting from point A to point B. In fact, this movie feels like one of those modern short stories about people alienated from the world. The viewer will probably both sympathize and want to punch Bobby in the face. Although we can feel sorry for his situation, it doesn’t stop him from making mistakes and having an affair. Even the soundtrack shows a clash as it has both country songs and piano pieces, symbolizing the conflict between the working class Bobby and the upper middle class Dupea’s. Honolulu film fans should at least rent it.
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