Film study worksheet

Filmstudy worksheet

Fieldof Dreams

Fieldof Dreamsis a movie that was produced in 1989 by Phil Robinson. It is builtupon the novel ShoelessJoe,written by P. Kinsella. The film is a fantasy drama that revolvesaround Ray, his wife Annie, and John (Ray’s father). Ray and Annieare novice farmers whose plan is to run a farm and enjoy the harmonythat comes with living on one. In the film, Ray has an uneasyrelationship with his father, John Kinsella, who happens to be abaseball enthusiast.

Whiletoiling in his corn field, Ray overhears a voice telling him: “Ifyou build it, he will come.”Misconstruing the intended meaning, Ray thinks the voice isinstructing him to create a baseball field to “call back” themajor league disgraced players that threw the 1919 World Seriesincluding Shoeless Joe Jackson. Compromising the emotional andeconomic solidity of his family, Ray proceeds to build a baseballfield on a family piece of land. This is what fuels the sourrelations with his father.

Afterthe demise of his father, Ray is overcome with a feeling of emptinessand guilt when he realizes that the horrible fight with his fatherwill never be resolved. As days go by, Ray hears other voice messagesafter which he realizes that his baseball field was speciallyordained to give a second chance to those that have sacrificedvaluable aspects of their lives. Ray recognizes that this journey ofhelping others redeem themselves will alleviate the burden of neverbeing forgiven by his father for their bitter exchanges.

Basically,theentire movie is built upon the message by a disembodied voice. Thisis the message that motivates Ray to build a baseball field. Thevoice is meant to bring about a religious connotation. Initially, thevoice seems to belong to the ghost of Joe Jackson, the formerdisgraced player. Later on, the voice gives him other messages likeEasehis painwhich shows him that he was chosen to give a second chance to peoplewho were hurt by their love of the game.

Theelement of affirmation of the call along the way is noticeably markedthrough the whole film. Whenever Ray does not understand themessages, there is always an immediate confirmation or reiteration ofthe message by a corresponding dream. For instance, when Ray does notunderstand the statement Ifyou build it, he will come,he gets confirmations along the way like in the vision of thebaseball diamond. What’s more, his wife and friends believe andsupport him. In the film, other people also get the vision thatmasses of people will come to the field to watch matches. Karin andMann similarly get dreams to confirm Ray’s call. Their strongbelief in the baseball diamond proves that Ray certainly got the callto build the playing field. There is a very long heartfelt speechgiven by James Earl Jones about baseball, and Mann reassures Ray notto worry about money as people will come to watch the games.

Theelement of a father figure is also displayed in TheField of Dreams.The film is very sentimental and conservative in the way itvisualizes and empathizes with the players from the past who weredisgraced in the Black Sox scandal in 1919. Eventually, it becomesapparent that Ray is building the baseball field for John, his latefather. John always fantasized about playing professional baseball.These two characters had a troubled relationship, and its resolutionis addressed when he plays catch with his father at the end of themovie. They experience a restoration of their damaged relationshipand tend up having fun playing together which implies forgivenessbetween them.

Faithand trust is yet another element portrayed in TheField of Dreams.Frankly, I can confidently say that this movie is also constructed onthe concept faith. First, Ray has to believe what the voice istelling him to do. He goes ahead to plow his corn field and on it,build a baseball diamond. Other characters have demonstrated trustand faith by believing in the journey they take with Ray. Forinstance, Mann believes in Ray and accompanies him to Boston to finda former baseball player by the name Moonlight.Baseball is portrayed as the religion in this film, and Ray has totake the ‘spiritual’ journey so as to help former players thathad a bad experience with the sport they adored. Throughout themovie, Ray has visions of things that other people do not. Heproceeds to fulfill them even when other people like Mark, hisbrother-in-law, do not believe in him. At the end of the movie, Mannis called upon to go with the players beyond the field. He followsthe players because he knows that it is his destiny to do so adestiny he trusts and believes.

Inthe film, the element of suffering is also portrayed. The movieillustrates how when one follows his dreams, money will alwaysfollow. At some point in the movie, Ray is threatened by the bankwith the foreclosure of his property for the lack of money. Mark, hisbrother-in-law, warns Ray on several occasions of the consequences offollowing his dream. He is ridiculed for his choice to follow hisdream of reconnecting with his father. The element of choices is alsodisplayed in the film. Ray and his family have a choice whether to goalong with the call or ignore it altogether. Their life becomesbetter when they follow it. Moreover, all the characters in the moviemake a decision more than once.

Theelements of forgiveness and reconciliation are portrayed by TheField of Dreams.Ray and his father reconcile when the movie ends, and it is revealedthat the entire reason Ray built the field was so that he could havethe opportunity to reconcile with his father. He forgives him andthey walk away playing catch. Their new relationship seems to improveas they are better friends than before John died. The statement Ifyou build it, He will comerefers to his father’s coming which is eventually fulfilled. Herestores their relationship and even gives his father the dream ofplaying professional baseball.

Initiallywhen Ray gets the vision to build a diamond, people do not believehim. His wife is initially skeptical before entirely believing him.Mark has a very hard time believing that Ray cares for his family andyet he is capable to provide for his family. When he eventuallyaccepts to believe in Ray’s faith, Mark sees the players on thefield for the first time. Karin believes in her father’s faith andgets a vision of people coming to the field to watch the players. Allthese instances portray the element of faith and trust in TheFields of Dreams.

TheField of Dreamsis not afraid to venture into the afterlife mystery. It shows theinter-connectedness of life now and after death. It also indicatesthat there is a connection between the living and the dead. Thefantasy in this movie is explored boldly because the wish that theformer players held to their death is fulfilled after they die in theland of the living. This bold move on the part of the movie hasearned it very bad reviews from people. For instance, one magazinesaid that the movie gave wishful thinking a bad name.

Thewriter of the film was explicitly addressing love for baseball whenthe players’ ghosts came from beyond just to play the sport theylove and have a good time on the field. The dead and the living havea very clear connection that shows that death is not the end of lifeand that there is a certain form of life after death. The principalactor, Ray, gets dreams and visions where he talks and interacts withdead people and this shows the continuation of life beyond death.

Inconclusion, Ray experiences a huge spiritual change. He gets to helphis father achieve the dream he had after his death. He also restoreshis relationship with his father after taking a spiritual journey.Essentially, the movie gives a hint of the family experiencingfinancial and spiritual freedom in the future. After watching thisawesome movie, I can reflect by saying that I have learnt many skillsthat I can apply in my life. First, I have learned that a vision andcalling are critical for every undertaking. Judging by this film, Ican positively affirm that the combination of a calling and a visionare essential ingredients in the success of anything an individualdoes. This relates to my life because I have discerned the power ofdeveloping a vision in the backdrop of a calling. The element offorgiveness and reconciliation also relates well to my life. This isbecause as Christians, we are expected to forgive those who goagainst our basic principles. As such, I acknowledge the importanceof forgiveness and reconciliation because God created us to live inpeace and harmony.

Thethird element that relates to my life is choice. Undoubtedly, life isall about making the right choices. Ray chose to stick to his dreams,whereas he would have simply brushed off the “religious” messagesof “the voice.” Additionally, I have learned that an individualcannot shelter all the responsibilities alone. For me to achievesignificant progress, I recognize the fact that I have to cultivatefaith in others and use their services for good intentions. Karin,Annie and Mann were of very great help for Ray to achieve the visionhe had. Moreover, I have learned that helping others is a noblevirtue. Generally, I can positively affirm that The Field of Dreamsis an epic movie because it provides more than just entertainment.The movie portrays how dreams can come true, for so long as there isa vision, a calling, and persistence. My best character in the movieis Ray by virtue of his willingness to help others overcome theirlife challenges.


IMDB.“Field of Dreams (1989) Full Movie HD”. Online video clip.YouTube, 12 September 2016. Web. 28 September 2016.