What The Fig?: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Loved the movie? Check out the book, and then write a 600 word flash memoir. It could be read by Jonathan Safran Foer himself, and earn you $500 for school! Full details here.

Based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s bestselling novel, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close follows precocious nine-year-old Oskar (Thomas Horn) as he travels throughout New York in search of answers after he finds a mysterious key among his deceased father’s belongings. His father (Tom Hanks) died in the World Trade Center on September 11, which Oskar calls The Worst Day. Oskar is fixated on his father’s death, afraid of forgetting him. He uses the quest of finding out who the key belongs to and what it unlocks as a way to feel closer to his father. As Oskar continues on his quest, he grows and begins to acknowledge the fears he has about his father’s death.

Like the novel, the movie is narrated by Oskar. The audience follows him on his journey around New York and it is though his perspective that we see most of the events. The narration is engaging and often heartbreaking. Oskar is angry and scared. Angry about his father’s death because it does not make sense; it is not logical. Scared because he feels completely alone and helpless. The film is interspersed with memories Oskar has of his father, memories of his father encouraging him to talk to people, to explore, and to never stop looking. The present-day narration paired with flashbacks makes for a dynamic story about losing loved ones and the importance of remembering them.

As Oskar continues on his journey, he makes new memories and finds new ways to feel close to his father. The quest for the owner of the key is a way for Oskar to grieve. It is a difficult process, but grieving always is. Oskar’s quest is about more than finding out what the key unlocks. He needs this quest to remember his father and to remember to live his own life. Despite being colored by death, Oskar’s story is about living and the connections we make with other people.

Meghan Cannistra is a college student majoring in English.  Along with watching movies, she loves to read and write and enjoys fairy tales, ghost stories, and comic books.  When she isn’t busy chasing her two cats, Doom and Gloom, around the house she is browsing Netflix for something good to watch.  Check out her Figment page, as well as her blog, Ink Stained Octopus

One thought on “What The Fig?: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

  1. I loved the book and the movie. Both are really heartbreaking and beautiful. The casting for the movie was pretty much perfect. I’m now reading Everything is Illuminated (by the same author) because I enjoyed ELaIC so much. Great review of the movie!

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