Writer- director Garry Ross’s Pleasantville was nominated for 3 Oscars in 1998 and even a decade later this charming comedy remains as appealing. With a talented cast, wonderful special effects and clever story-telling Pleasantville leaves its mark.
The film begins in the 1990s. Growing up in a broken family, a shy high-school boy (Tobey Maguire) finds solace in the neat, perfect and goody-goody world of the 50s TV-sitcom ‘Pleasantville’. His elder sister (Reese Witherspoon) - a hostile rebel without a cause, looks at him as a nerd. But a twist of fate literally sucks these contrasting siblings into that sitcom. Suddenly their world has turned on its head. Their names have changed, their parents have changed and yes, even their colors have changed- for the squeaky clean world of Pleasantville is in black and white! How will they cope up with the sanitized lifestyle of this seemingly perfect world? And what drastic changes will their 90s actions bring to the good old Pleasantville?
The outwardly funny plot raises serious issues about past and present lifestyles. It tries to tell that nostalgia for the romanticized past often clouds the problems besetting that era; that no world is perfect and the change, whether for the better or for worse is a rule of nature!