Creative: Imagine yourself as a film critic, you are to write a response to William Faulkner’s Film ‘As I Lay Dying’ and highlighting two main characters which stood out to you. 

This week I have had the opportunity to view such a highly anticipated recreation of William Faulkner’s novel ‘As I Lay Dying’ through the eyes of the director James Franco. The film translates the strife and disaster that come upon a poor Mississippi family during their trip by horse and wagon to bury their deceased mother and matriarch of their family.  The plot as a whole reflects tensions between what is said and what is left unsaid in their thoughts. This is left for the audience to reflect and manifest who we are and what we think about.

Two characters that struck my attention would be Darl Bundren and Cash Bundren. These two brothers although bounded by blood illustrate completely different personalities on opposite sides of the spectrum. Darl played by James Franco himself was a character who was the most sensitive and articulate, Franco delivered the greatest number of interior monologues in the film revealing such inner disturbed thoughts. Darl’s frustration with the number of encounters the family encompasses leads him to try to end things decisively by lighting a barn on fire which as a result incinerating his dead mother’s coffin. Cash played by Jim Parrak was displayed as a person who lacked emotion and lack heart which the director wanted the audience to see. The character was very disconnected to the other family members. In his words compared to the other characters, we can see that in one way he has more sensical knowledge from the others and through his definitions we can see his vulnerability to the whole situation.

 ‘As I Lay Dying’ forth portrays the demonic views of individuals madness through lack of expression or even a multitude of pain illustrated through acting out. Artistically ‘As I Lay Dying’ reveals to us the horrific events such as the mothers death and the burning down of the barn. This occurs physically, however, emotionally driven events are built up inside each of the characters due to the experiences this family has as they share separate grief over the death of their mother. The film director used a range of art-forms to create a contrast between words and thought through non-verbal ideas in their mind, differing perspectives, and vivid emotions through music and sound.

All in All, ‘As I Lay Dying’ is a tension-filled film which exemplifies the way in which Faulkner’s novel was written. The film exposes the inner persona of each character as well as shows them that through all the negative battles that this journey was meant to happen to develop who they are as people.


Until next time, this is Annaliese Ferraro signing off for this film to be a success!


5 thoughts on “#9 ‘As I Lay Dying’ – Film Review

  1. Hey Annaliese,

    I really enjoyed your film review. It is an entertaining and insightful piece which demonstrates that Franco’s adaption was a success. I agree with your point that James Franco highlights the tension between what is said and left unsaid in the text. Also, great character analysis of both Darl and Cash, they are distinctly opposite characters!

    All the best,


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Annaliese,
    I really enjoyed you blog post his week. Your review of the film was structured well and it was obvious you put a lot of planning and thought into it. It was great to see that you focused on individual elements of the film, like the characters, as well as the production overall. Many movie reviews give only a general overview of the film with the little details left out. I’m glad you decided to include some in-depth analysis. Overall a great film review and a great blog! Keep up the good work.

    – Anthony

    Liked by 1 person

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