Ghost World (2001, Zwigoff)


Ghost World

Chappie doesn't like the real world
I'm just going to address the bus for now, as I really should be doing something else. I think it's obvious that the bus isn't meant to be taken literally, but is a symbol of a character's passage from world to world. For the old man, I do believe that implies death. No way, for Enid. Nothing about her suggests that she is suicidal and that would be strangely out of character. Nor do I think she physically went anywhere else. I think she will, but that isn't what the bus is symbolic of. I'm going with the simple theory that it just means a different state of being for Enid.

Enid always questions the world; there is the world as you are told it is and the way the world is as you perceive it. There are also things that most people just do after high school that Enid is dissatisfied with but she's not sure what kind of world she wants. A lot of the time Enid is pushing and pulling and I trying to find answers. I don't think that the bus ride at the end necessarily means that she has found any, but rather that she is on a journey to find her own world.

I have a couple of theories as to why people might believe she committed suicide. One is that they are simply taking the title ghost world too literally. Another is that they can't identify with Enid the way you and I do, and see her as a lot more messed up than she actually is.

Ghost world is awesome, I could never figure out the bus. For a while I always thought she killed her self but after seeing it a few more times it just wouldn't make sense. You could be right but then again maybe there is nothing to it. Maybe she just took off.

That's a great analysis of Ghost World, well done. The Alice in Wonderland connection is an interesting one, particularly.

I have Ghost World in my top 5 of the 2000s, and I think it's a very insightful look at "American" culture, as well as one of the funniest movies I've seen. I think it's also very honest with its characters and the way they relate to each other. Whereas something like American Beauty might act like it's a striking critique of suburban malaise, its characters and their motivations don't ring true to me. Ghost World, even in it's tertiary, fleeting characterizations ("You guys up for some reggae tonight?", or the movie theater manager/jerk) is able to make subtle, pointed commentary, all of which add up to Enid wanting to escape from everything.

And that leads into the bus scene at the end. Honestly, I've never thought that deeply about it, as much as I love this film. I took it for a simple metaphor that Enid is about to enter a new phase of her life, leaving behind all of the things she hated and all of the mistakes she made. Obviously she'll encounter new challenges and new awful, hilarious people in the future, but for now, she is content with moving on, accepting who she is, and starting the next period of her life.