Assignment #8 – “The Visitor” – Jazmyn Benjamin

the-visitor-original1The movie The Visitor focuses on a college professor named Walter Vale, and his journey with immigrants Tarek and Zainab, a couple, who were found living in his apartment due to a scam. The movie’s theme is opening up. Walter’s character was very uptight and boring, not going outside his comfort zone. It is hinted that this is the result of his wife’s death, or that it was made worse by it. He tried to bring the feeling back into his life by learning the piano, but the rhythm and motions weren’t bringing the joy he expected. Then comes the Djembe, a african drum. Tarek starts to teach Walter after he finds him playing the drum when Walter thinks nobody’s home. At first hesitant, Walter soon loosens up and begins to play with rhythm and feeling. The drum was Walters gateway to opening and loosening up. Tarek tells him, “Walter I know you’re a very smart man but wtv2ith the drum you have to remember not to think. Thinking just screws it up.” The drum lets Walter’s mind wander and get lost in the rhythm, ultimately, setting him free from the prison he has within his mind. Later in the story Tarek, accused of jumping the turnstile, is taken into custody. Finding out from Zainab that her and Tarek are illegal immigrants, Tarek is turned over to immigration. This brings Tarek’s mother and Walter’s love interest into the picture. With this new instrument that breaks some of the tension within him, he is able to open up with her. Through awkward minimal scenes we see the chemistry grow between them. He even steps out of his comfort zone by asking her out on a date to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. But soon after we find out that Tarek gets maxresdefaultdeported back to his country. This makes Walter explode in the immigration office and show more emotion than we have seen him with the whole movie, screaming, “We are not just helpless children.”He includes himself, knowing what it feels like to be trapped.


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