Meaning of the movie “CODA” and ending explained

Meaning of the movie “CODA” and ending explained Films

High school student Ruby lives with a fishing family where she is the only one who can hear. Mother, father and older brother are deaf from birth. From an early age, Ruby helps them connect with the world, and they can’t imagine life without her. Therefore, when she discovers the talent for singing in herself and is going to build her future with it, she will have to make her relatives “hear” how serious her intentions are. It’s a paradox, but in the eyes of her parents she remains a child, despite the fact that she matured very early, being the only opportunity for her family to establish contact with a world that resists this interaction.

Even though the film three thematic lines are clearly outlined – fishing (social occupation deaf), relationships (personal front of characters) and music (personal outlet main character) – The script’s key dilemma is that Ruby is both mediator between the hearing and the deaf must be torn between the family deed (duty) and study (personal dream). Being not quite his own (“healthy outcast”) in the family and not quite his (“unhealthy outcast”) at school, at a certain moment, the girl faces the hardest choice – to leave her relatives, whose fate largely depends on her, or to sacrifice themselves, your vocation and future.

Position of deaf family members before pores does not contribute to the resolution of the conflict and only complicates the life of the heroine. If Ruby and Leo as young people seek to integrate into the world in different ways healthy, then their parents (especially their mother) are afraid of this movement, preferring to keep each other and away from the rest. Moreover, Ruby’s passion for music and vocals, in fact, is perceived by them as a betrayal or at least a lack of solidarity with the family.

Personal goal in the picture of course, not only Ruby is endowed. The father, by virtue of his status, is trying as best he can feed the family and keep it afloat. Brother Leo strives with all his might
to prove to his relatives that he is a grown man capable of solving problems. mother most of all, she is afraid to let her daughter go from the hearth to an independent swimming. At the same time, the true inner need for each of them is one, general: accept other family members as they are, and break out of the dead-end comfort zone, to start a new life, or at least restart it. In this sense
the film de facto tells what the true potential and freedom of people, both with and without disabilities.

In the artistic sense, “CODA …” is an ordinary thing and unusual at the same time. In the picture, which is another variation on the hackneyed theme of the dramatic path to the American dream despite the blows of fate, enough frankly annoying – purely “Oscar” – scenes (a la collective training “dog breathing” in a vocal lesson), implausible scenario inconsistencies (Ruby, being the only one hearing from the Rossi clan, for some reason in last minute learns that her deaf family came to interview television people), as well as clichéd Hollywood things (like teenage bullying in the school hallway or spontaneous intercourse in the back room, dictated by the mutual awakening of the animal instincts of the characters). With another on the other hand, half the film in sign language with forced subtitles is not at all what what we are used to seeing in the shortlists of the key nominations of the American film academy. At the same time, the particular world of the tape, where deaf fishermen desperately trying to make ends meet, cannot help but resemble their marginal heroes of last year with their dysfunctional otherness Oscar winner – “Land of Nomads” (2020), which told about overseas vagabonds on wheels, traveling the country in search of a better life.

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How was CODA: Child of Deaf Parents created?

The film CODA: Child of Deaf Parents is actually a remake of the French film The Linen Family. There is a roughly similar plot, only the main character is called Paula, her family is farmers, and the genre of the tape is pure comedy without admixtures of melodrama and drama.

The producers commissioned the American version to be directed by Shang Hader, the screenwriter of Orange Is the New Black. Unlike the original cast (there were all non-deaf actors), she decided that deaf people should be played by deaf actors.

The role of the mother of the main character was immediately offered to Marley Matlin. Not only did she star in the 1986 cult film Children of a Lesser God about hearing and hearing, she also won an Oscar as the first deaf actor.

Later, Troy Kotzur, who played his brother and father, Daniel Durand, who received an Oscar for his supporting role for CODA: Child of Deaf Parents, joined the cast. Hader saw him at the Deaf West Theater in Los Angeles and was immediately struck by her unique charisma.

During filming, director Shan Hader and actress Emilia Jones learned ASL (American Sign Language), and consultants helped translate the script into it. In addition, the Gloucester fishermen showed the team of the film for several weeks how to properly catch and butcher fish so that it looks organic on the screen.

How is CODA different from other films about deaf and hard of hearing people?

The main achievement of “CODA: Child of Deaf Parents” is the intonation with which a rather tragic story is told in itself. It is light, without excessive edification and with a happy ending, which is so lacking in real life now.

However, there is almost no innovation in terms of technical methods. Several times during the film, hearing viewers are shown how it is perceived by the deaf – the sound disappears, and the picture is slightly blurred for greater effect. But much more radically similar things were demonstrated, for example, in The Sound of Metal, a drama with Riz Ahmed in the title role.

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And the Ukrainian director Miroslav Slaboshpitsky, in his film “The Tribe”, completely made in sign language without translation for those who hear, completely twisted another means of communication – visual: cinema with all its magic.

But both “The Sound of Metal”, and “The Tribe”, and even “Country of the Deaf” by Valery Todorovsky (although it is in this series just for example and a little about something else) are strong authorial statements. CODA: Child of Deaf Parents is a family-friendly movie (despite some relatively erotic scenes), and its goal is completely different: inclusion. It connects two worlds, like its main character, and does it as simply as possible with all the platitudes and truisms.

Why did CODA: Child of Deaf Parents win the Best Picture Oscar?

Although after the announcement of the Oscar nominees it seemed that this year’s Oscars favorite was Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, before the ceremony there were hints of the future triumph of the film CODA: Child of Deaf Parents. And this, of course, is not about the fact that he was a Sundance hit in 2021, but about the results of the Producers Guild Award. It is considered the main indicator of who will receive the main Oscar. It happened this time as well. At the same time, it is noteworthy that, in fact, two large streaming streams were fighting with each other: “Power of the Dog” was released on Netflix, and “CODA” on Apple TV+.

In a broader sense, CODA: A Child of Deaf Parents continues the course of inclusion taken by the Oscars. And it may lie not only in the absolute triumph of a Korean multi-genre film with a non-standard narrative (“Parasite”) or the author’s statement by a Chinese director (“Land of Nomads”), but also an uplifting, albeit stilted melodrama that can talk to those who have previously was silent. In all senses.

Meaning movie CODA

The conflict between fathers and children is the main meaning of the film “The Child of Deaf Parents”. Parents’ reluctance to take their children’s problems or dreams seriously is not a new idea for a movie. However, this problem is eternal, almost all families go through it, and films on such topics are always relevant for viewers. The director and screenwriter were faced with the task of bringing something new to the plot, giving the story a personality, while leaving the development of events as natural as possible, without overdramatizing. There is no doubt that the authors of the film succeeded with brilliance. The film was a huge success at the 2021 Sundance Independent Film Festival, garnering major awards there, including Best Picture and the Audience Award.

What is the highlight of this story and how does it help to reveal the meaning of the film? The title suggests again: Ruby’s parents are deaf. They are not just deaf to the dreams, ambitions and fears of their child, as is often the case in families, they literally do not hear the voice of their daughter. But it is her voice from the first frames that leaves no doubt: the girl has a true talent that needs to be given way. And this situation is one of the main problems that the film highlights. Teenagers have to prove their right to make decisions, their right to dream, to build their lives the way they want, and not the way their parents decided.

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It is gratifying that the film does not take an edifying position, but simultaneously highlights many other problems and details. First of all, the issue of isolation that the family experiences due to deafness is raised. The difficulties of doing business are also shown, both in the industry as a whole, and in the seemingly imperceptible problems that deaf fishermen deal with. For example, there is no one in the team to even maintain radio contact, which creates a conflict with the police.

The problem of isolation also applies to the main character, despite the fact that she has no health problems. Peers laugh at her, she reacts painfully to how different her family is from others. But even in her own family, she sometimes feels like an outcast. Her passion for music is seen by deaf parents as a protest and even disrespect for their position. And the need to work deprives Ruby of the opportunity to find an outlet for herself.

The film talks about the importance for a teenager to have a community in which they are not afraid to show their abilities, which would support and help to realize opportunities. The film also emphasizes the importance of the role of an attentive teacher and mentor in this process. When Ruby gets into the choir, she finds herself and it is with the help of the teacher that she gradually understands her true abilities.

The film unobtrusively tells parents of teenagers how important it is to see an individuality in a child, and not just a continuation of the family. The director symbolically conveys this idea in the episode in which Ruby’s parents came to her concert. While the mother of the heroine is bored and continues her usual line of behavior, the father finds the strength to look at his daughter through the eyes of others. The reaction of the audience to her performance speaks for itself and makes the father change his mind.

I am glad that the filmmakers, in their desire to make a socially significant film, are consistent in their choice of actors. Ruby Rossi’s entire family is played by deaf actors, and the director has spent a lot of time learning sign language. The life and various features of the life of such a family are shown with attention to detail, but without excessive drama, but on the contrary, with a great deal of humor. As a result, the film is very balanced, does not dramatize disability, takes away from the idea that with deafness it is impossible to live a full life, create a family and run a successful business, you just need to be able to adapt to circumstances, which is what this unusual and very interesting family is trying to do.

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