In reference to The Sweet Hereafter, one interpretation is that women play a central role in the storyplot. Only two women make it through the accident this fact attaches them throughout the storyline. They are the ones who repair peace in the tiny community that lost fourteen of its children in a bus car accident. The relationship between these two central female heroes is investigated with regards to the way to obtain their relationship, the nature of their relationship with other personas and the restoration of peace within the community.
In The Sweet Hereafter, a community encounters two problems: dropping a lot of their children and from then on, wanting to take revenge in a lawsuit. A legal professional visits those worried in the crash and persuades them with hard work to investigate the situation and sue a person who can be blamed for the damage and can gaming system the people with a lot of money. Yet, not all parents think that this is actually the right solution for coping with a tiny community's damage: Billy Ansel is the major mourning father or mother who refuses to be a part of the lawsuit. He unsuccessfully will try to talk the only real surviving child's dad into resigning from the lawsuit. Even though he'd provide financial compensation by reducing all his family's money, the making it through girl's father will not accept it. The main element shape in this storyline, hence, is somebody who has the chance and the energy to stop Sam Burnell from the lawsuit, and this very person is his own girl who was simply sexually abused by him often and who's now paralysed therefore of the automobile accident. Having got no control over her destiny and now not having control over her body, Nicole opposes her father and helps the tiny town go forward.
The problem of the protagonist
Atom Egoyan's films usually focus on human interactions and serious changes in point of view are experienced by the viewer on many factors. Equally as one's understanding of the relationship between Ani and Raffi changes in Ararat or Francis builds up from a perverted paedophile into a mourning dad in one's sight in Exotica, The Lovely Hereafter also surprises the audiences in terms of human romantic relationships and the energy relations in a tiny community. This issue is especially interesting from the feminist perspective; therefore, the main characters of evaluation in this newspaper are Nicole Burnell and Dolores Driscoll.
In The Special Hereafter, there is not only 1 main character, even though viewers possess the impression that in the movie, Stephens, the legal professional (Meyer 144) or Nicole, the paralysed victim (Dziedzic 73, May & Ferri 131) is the central persona of the storyplot. However, it isn't only Nicole who is the protagonist of this movie, but also Dolores. The basis for this assumption is the fact in Sarat's view, it is incest and the accident that are central to the story because they're threatening the children of the town (21). Children can only be the victims of these phenomena: they may be subject to sexual abuse or a bus car accident. Within the movie, only Dolores is shown as a person who shares the sufferer experience due to the bus crash; thus, this experience connects her to the consensually central persona, Nicole.
Dolores is also a victim by being the culprit of the automobile accident looked after links her to Nicole. Nicole makes Dolores accountable for the car accident when she commits herself. Nicole's only possibility to take revenge on her behalf incestuous father is when she is based on her deposition which way she makes it impossible for her father to get profit a lawsuit. Her dad looks for to sue the company that manufactured the bus that brought on the accident as well as for that it is necessary to verify that the crash was triggered by the malfunctioning of the bus. Yet, Nicole lays that it was Dolores' problem that the crash happened and you don't have for trial. As a result, Dolores and Nicole will be the both victims of the incident; one of these being paralysed, the other being accused for the crash and being the only person to regret what had took place.
There is another way to confirm that Nicole and Dolores are both central individuals in the movie: the choice of the main people in this history is determined by one's focus. Inside the movie, the storyline of your fatal incident is recited, based on a true report within an 'Egoyani' way. Which means that the storyline is sophisticated and hard to follow because the audience gets to meet up with the residents of a little town as the lawyer visits the people; hence, the story of the car accident is learnt in this unlinear, episodic way. The face with each member of the city creates a sense of belonging from the viewer's part to the community depicted in the movie: a sense of belonging to a small community where every person knows other's lives and secrets. Since the viewer understands the residents of the town equally well as he would know residents of his own small town, positioning give attention to the individuals is up to the viewer's choice.
Accident and incest
According to Sarat, "[b]oth the suit and the seduction, the film appears to suggest, cause a hazard to the town and its children" (21). The crash made the 'outside world' to focus on the town by bringing in a legal professional to help grieving relatives sue somebody because of the accident. As far as seduction and incest can be involved, in the small community, people already maintain an extremely close relationship and perhaps this closeness blurs the brand between family as an all natural and since a social construct: some participants are added, some are erased from it in this movie.
The instances where one views that this range between biological and chosen family is blurred are regarding the Nicole. First of all, she instructs a bedtime storyline to the kids of another family, and as she is seemingly alone with the kids, it creates the illusion that they really are a family, both children being Nicole's siblings. Just how she snacks them (and by this, the goodnight kiss is intended) also shows close bonds between your Ansel twins and her. The other family-related issue is between Nicole and her father because they are lovers in secret. That is also depicted in the movie within an ambiguous way and folks are quite shocked and wonder what is going on. It is apparent from the storyline that Nicole and Sam are little girl and father, however they are shown in two situations that do not depict a normal father-daughter relationship. Among these views is after the rehearsal when Nicole and Sam walk and chitchat like two students. The other arena is the landscape when they prepare for and take part in sexual intercourse. At that time, what one notes is Nicole's reluctant frame of mind and then agreement to join her daddy to the "beautiful stage [lit] with nothing but candles".
Because of the closeness, individual relationships are inevitably incestuous on the macro level, but there looks incest on the micro level in the community. Incest isn't only a sin (New Ruler Wayne Bible, Leviticus 18:6-18): it causes serious mental health disorders from low self-esteem to for occasion mistrust and prejudice in human relationships. These symptoms of distorted thoughts have already made an appearance locally before the mishap, for example, Dolores shows this symptom as will be discussed in the next. This sick balance is annoyed by the mishap where all but one children of the small town die because an intruder (the lawyer Mitchell Stephens) makes the pain of damage even worse by reminding the mourning families of the incident.
As mentioned previously, Dolores shows the sign of the incestuous community, but this is overwritten by mourning. She shows both of these facts during her discourse with Mitchell Stephens. With regards to speaking about the victims of the automobile accident, she mentions the Ottos, who she first represents as hippies, but then she corrects herself and claims that the Ottos are in fact good people, and she outweighs the remark by lots of samples.
Dolores: The Ottos  I guess they're what you may call hippies.
[Mitchell asks Dolores double what she means by 'hippies' but gets no useful answer. ]
Mitchell: What do you imply by 'hippies'?
Dolores: After all, the way they look. Their hair and clothing. . .  The Ottos are what I'd call model people. They're regular at town meetings. They provide their opinions in a respectful way. They always help you at various fund-raising bazaars around, though they aren't chapel goers.
Mitchell: Plus they loved Carry.
Dolores: Oh yes. Like I said, they always arrived collectively to see him off to institution. It's like he was their little treasure. He was such a beautiful boy. That's a picture of him on the wall structure there, behind Abbott.
The first utterance uncovers her original, prejudiced perception of the Ottos because the overtone of the word 'hippie' seems pretty negative, Mitchell Stephens first affiliates hippies with drugs, which Dolores denies. Yet, the first, negative information probably comes from their incestuous closeness, which causes her to see them with exaggerated prejudice.
Providing a stigmatised information of the Otto family is improper because this way Dolores calls their deceased son, Carry a hippie as well. For this reason she takes some time to correct her gut response as she seems to feel guilty about her prejudiced utterance. The considerable modification (the Ottos being model residents, respectful, ample, etc. ) is probably initiated by her grief. Hence, one perceives that Dolores has ambiguous emotions and these are probably induced by the 'incestuously' close relationships within the city and the fatal car accident that contributes to the need to change her attitude towards the community. However, Dolores is anxious, broken and mixed up: she will not seem prepared to move on prior to the lawsuit is arranged in some way.
Dolores and the Pied Piper of Hamelin
The motif of the Pied Piper of Hamelin has an real and an abstract relevance to the movie: on the one hands, Nicole reads out the storyline to the Ansel twins, on the other palm, Dolores is seen as the Pied Piper because she triggers the children to drown in the cool water. In spite of this straightforward interconnection between Dolores and the Pied Piper of Hamelin, it is not Dolores but Nicole that can be determined with him.
Dolores is innocent in the car accident, but she still seems bad about it. Some people might give description to this guilty conscience by arguing that Dolores is like the Pied Piper of Hamelin. She gathers the children of the town and this time 'leads' them in to the normal water and drowns them. However, getting in touch with her the Pied Piper is not the right interpretation of the state of affairs: she actually is not only far from being like the Pied Piper, she is merely the opposite of this identity.
Although Dolores takes away the children using their homes without coming back them, she actually is not like the Pied Piper. She takes away and brings back again the children of the town every day, her purpose is precisely what she will on the day of the incident. The Pied Piper, on the other hand, does not come to Hamelin to cope with the children but to get rid of rats. Therefore, Dolores is nothing like the Pied Piper because her purpose is to look after the children of the town every day.
In addition, Dolores is not really a stranger who involves the town for a onetime work: she actually is an associate of the community and seems to have no reason to take revenge. She actually is on very good conditions with the kids because she has their pictures on the wall. Whether she put their pictures on the wall structure before or following the car accident is redundant. The pictures on the wall structure may be interpreted by the viewers either as cherishing the ram of the kids or reducing her guilty conscience, the relationship between Dolores and the useless children will there be and such a bond is inexistent between your Pied Piper and the kids who he eliminates.
Finally, Dolores cannot be the Pied Piper in this account since it is Nicole that can be interpreted as the Pied Piper. She needs revenge on her behalf father by taking good thing about the tragedy. Her link with the amount of the Pied Piper is hence created in more ways. First of all, when she reads the storyplot on the Pied Piper of Hamelin, she legitimates the revenge of the Pied Piper:
Mason: Nicole, did the Pied Piper take the kids away because he was mad that the city didn't pay him?
Nicole: That's right.
Mason: Well, if he realized magic, if he could get the kids into the mountain, why couldn't he use his magic pipe to help make the people pay him so you can get rid of the rats?
Nicole: Because. . . he needed these to be punished.
Mason: So he was indicate?
Nicole: No, not imply, just. . . very angry.
Nicole is as furious as the Pied Piper of Hamelin because she will not get what she wishes. She is influenced and repressed by her daddy, who sexually abuses her. Yet, Nicole will not protect herself because she expects for a few kind of incentive from her dad, that being truly a rock star profession. She is a subject in her father's creativeness where she is a rock superstar, but she believes that she cannot understand her goal without her dad. She actually is conditioned to think that there is connection between her subordination to men and the success in her goal career. This is strengthened by her father, who acts the way those managers do who usually influence female actors that without them they are worth little or nothing. This persuasion is dependant on the girl low do it yourselfesteem and the paternalist public construction.
Nicole as a robust woman
Nicole is dependent on her dad, but this marriage is reversed by the finish of the storyplot and Nicole consolidates her electricity. When she says "I'm a wheelchair lady now", she does not only mean she actually is not attractive any more. By admitting her reduction, she establishes her specific, powerful personality and in the meantime she distances herself from her dad. This utterance is later backed by her deposition, rendering it impossible for her father to gain money in the lawsuit against the person who is accountable for the incident of the school bus.
Before the incident, Nicole has a powerful and a powerless personal information. She first shows up as a powerful woman in her wider sociable settings. She explains to the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin to Billy Ansel's twins, Jessica and Mason before they drift off; hence, she assumes a grown-up or a parent-like role. In addition, she also appears as an individualized person when she actually is a rock superstar singing on the stage. But at the same time, Nicole is the main topic of her father's imagination, he seems to create her rock and roll star id, it is through his sight and thoughts that Nicole recognizes herself as a performer. Therefore, Nicole is also a powerless personal information due to her father's vitality over her.
After the crash, there's a turning point in Nicole's understanding of her own life. The night prior to the deposition, Billy Ansel goes to her parents and she hears that many people from the town want peace and not this long-winded lawsuit. They want to leave the unpleasant stories behind and go on with their lives. Billy cannot encourage Sam to stop the work with their lawyer. He even offers his money to pay for the harm that was designed to the Burnells in the incident, but Sam refuses it. This generous offer and the discussion is overheard by Nicole, who probably discovers at that point what she could do for herself and then for the city.
Contemplating later, Nicole enumerates the items she's lost and whom she should blame for that. In her words, first her daddy robbed her of something that her sister still has (and it is more than her innocence), then your crash robber her of her body. These thoughts lead the viewer to the next field where she offers her deposition. Her father listens to what she says and sees her lay that Dolores was speeding and so you don't have for a trial. This is essentially the most painful way to adopt revenge on her daddy and show her power. She deprives her daddy of hundreds of thousands of dollars by blaming Dolores for the car accident. The wounds brought on by the incest are healed by this work.
By avoiding the lawsuit, however, Nicole also gets rid of the car accident from her and from the community's life. The lawsuit would take way too much time before parents and subjects could stop reviving, reliving what took place on your day of the incident. In this manner Nicole becomes the guardian angel of the complete community, who saves people from struggling.
Towards a better future
As a result of her untruthful deposition, Nicole restores the equilibrium in the town. Although it is another type of town after the accident and the looks of the lawyer in the town (as Nicole's voiceover clarifies it by the end of the movie), every person has found their place, and they're not under the influence of the accident ever again. As the viewers see, Dolores is a driver of another bus, she has not been made accountable for the mishap neither legally nor morally. Mitchell Stephens now minds his own business and does not bother people who have the lawsuit, he only stares into Dolores' eyes as he passes her by. The audience also recognizes as the institution bus is also being taken away from the city. Nicole thinks of good times she put in with the kids. The accident does not any more haunt the town, even though its repercussions are irreversible and people are inconsolable.
In addition to repairing the equilibrium in the town, Nicole also ensures that she is a person. Her body may be numb, but her psyche is becoming more available to the planet. She had to carefully turn to her interior world and discover herself within and not through her father's eyes and through her father's touch. This is a triumph where she emits herself from the impact of her dad and this truth gives a purpose to the crash: Nicole becomes alert to her price.