It's a beautiful fall day, and golden leaves skitter ahead of the wind across green lawns. Walking through the park on his way to class, Eli persuades a punk-rock couple to pose for some photographs. Nate finishes football practice and goes to meet his girlfriend Carrie for lunch. John leaves his dad's car keys in the school office for his brother to pick up. In the cafeteria, Brittany, Jordan and Nicole gossip and complain about their mothers' snooping. Michelle dashes to the library, while Eli snaps some photos of John in the hallway. John walks out onto the lawn, crossing paths with Alex and Eric. It's an ordinary high school day. But all that is about to change. Inspired by the tragic events of the Columbine High School shootings.
- Elephant review by Shatner's Bassoon
(5) of (5) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 3
Loosely based on the 1999 Columbine high school massacre, 'Elephant' presents the viewer with the uncomfortable feeling of having to watch events take place in real time. But the whole point of 'Elephant' is to show just how mundane everyday life is, and a how a seemingly routine school day for these kids turned into something truly horrific, and for this reason it makes it so much more effective when the shootings finally take place. This is an American high school in all it's meaningless triviality suddenly becoming frighteningly, sickeningly real and inescapable. Director Gus Van Sant doesn't pass judgement on the killers; he's smart enough to know that there is no single explanation for their behaviour, which arises from a variety of sources. Elephant is also a film which doesn't leave the viewer with any form of closure, it's tragic, it's not supposed to have a happy ending, but then neither did Columbine.