Many movies get their message across through the use of words and pictures, but “The Red Balloon,” by Albert Lamorisse, is one of the few movies who achieves this through minimal dialogue and purposeful music. This movie has clearly won multiple awards. Two of the awards include the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or and the Academy Award in 1956. This movie deserves the awards that it received for many reasons, the main ones being that it was able to keep the audience captivated and holds many messages. The movies I watched that were made using mostly pictures were boring.
The majority of them failed to keep the audience hooked, except for this movie. This movie kept the audience interested all throughout. One of the best parts about this movie, The Red Balloon, is that it holds numerous amounts of symbols, metaphors, and meanings. How one interprets these symbols and metaphors is completely dependent on one’s own “life experience. ” The ideas that Albert Lamorisse constructs for the boy are endless. The Red Balloon conveys the idea of pursuing after one’s goals and is a metaphor for Jesus’ death.
One of the many ideas that this film holds is being able to pursue one’s goals/dreams despite the people in society who put one down. At the beginning of the movie, the boy finds a red balloon on the way to school. This is similar to a light bulb that all of a sudden pops up in one’s head. On the way to school, he passes some people who look at him and the balloon in a surprised way. This is a metaphor for people who doubt a person’s goals and how successful they will be. Later on in the movie, his classmates pop the boy’s red balloon.
A quote that is relatable to this situation said by Frank Sinatra is, “Success is the best revenge. ” The best revenge is not through violence, but it is to be successful and prove to them that their attempts never affected one’s road to success. This is relatable to the movie because after the red balloon got popped and “taken away” from him, he accepted that and obtained more ”goals/dreams” than what was taken from him. Another proverb in the Japanese culture that suits this interpretation of the movie is, “Fall seven times, stand up eight. This means that whenever a person is pushed down or stepped on, that person must stand up and be stronger than he/she was before. If he/she keeps falling, get up because soon he/she will be so strong that nothing can knock him/her down ever again. The main takeaway of this interpretation is to follow one’s dream/goal is no dream is too big nor too small to pursue. Another idea that this film portrays is the death of Jesus. The most prominent scene that portrays this idea is near the end of the film. Near the end, a classmate steps on the balloon and kills it.
After that, many balloons all over Paris are freed from their captivity and fly towards the owner of the boy and the red balloon. The balloons then carry the boy up and away into the sky. It is said that when Jesus dies, his people are freed, as it was shown in the movie. Another scene that is related to Catholicism is when the little boy and the little girl pass each other and the boy’s red balloon tries to get closer with the girl’s blue balloon. The blue balloon is a symbol of Jesus’s mother as in the pictures she wears blue clothing. There is no denial that parts of this movie are religious.