The Savages Review Essay

1116 Words Sep 17th, 2014 5 Pages
Film review - ‘The Savages’
(Director: Tamara Jenkins, 2007)
‘The Savages’ tells the story of two middle-aged siblings, Wendy and John, estranged from their father Lenny for many years, who are suddenly faced with his physical and cognitive decline in older age. The film explores the different responses of the two siblings to this enforced caring relationship in light of the revelations about their father’s abusive relationship to them both as children.
‘The Savages’ opens in a retirement village in Sun City, Arizona, where Lenny Savage, is living with his partner Doris, who is assisted by Eduardo, in her with her daily living. When Lenny fails to flush the toilet after Eduardo asks him to do so, and writes insults on the wall with
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Wendy is tasked with bringing Lenny to Buffalo, New York state, by plane from Arizona. This is a painful scene that brings home the reality and potential difficulties of traveling any distance with someone who suffers from a significantly disabling dementia, as Lenny becomes perplexed and agitated in the unfamiliar surroundings of the plane and cannot move about freely. Once admitted to the Valley View home in Buffalo, Lenny shows his complete lack of understanding about his circumstances, believing it to be a hotel.
Wendy’s guilt about Lenny’s situation in the care home drives her to attempt to get her father admitted to ‘a much nicer’ residential home. However, this requires Lenny to ‘pass an interview’ to prove he is not cognitively impaired. He fails this test but remains unaware and unaffected by the heated emotional discussion that follows between Wendy and John as the latter tries to get his sister to accept their father’s disability and his consequent care needs. The film follows the siblings as they deal with Lenny’s death and the period that follows it as they move forward positively in their individual lives, able to mourn for their father, whilst being released from their traumatic childhood experiences.
Considerations for musicians working in the Dementia field
‘The Savages’ offers an excellent opportunity to consider the issue of care for an elderly person who may not have any close biological family ties as

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