How Tom Perceives Summer
The 500 days of summer is a romantic movie that depicts the nature of most relationships in the real world. Tom meets Summer at work and ends up having a romantic relationship where Tom is genuinely in love with Summer who on the other hand is not committed as much to the relationship. Tom perceives Summer as the girl he has always wanted, the love of his life, the girl who was made to 'complete him'. According to Berger, seeing comes before words (p.1). It was evident that Tom already had feelings for Summer at the scene at the office by just how he looks at Summer and it is confirmed in the scene at the Karaoke night. In the scene, Summer claims that she does not believe in love while on the other hand, Tom believes that love does exist. At this instance, it is evident that Tom thought whatever he already felt for Summer was love, that she was the love of his life.
Tom and Summer start dating and finally spend the night together. Tom is over the moon and is seen dancing happily with a group of people on the scene of the morning after. The background soundtrack on this scene is 'You make my dreams come true' by Hall and Oates. The choice of the soundtrack emphasizes how much Tom thought that he finally had the girl of his dreams in his grasp. The scene characteristics build on how Tom presents himself through the screen and by large his environment by use of dancers and appropriate music apparatus which aligns with Walter Benjamin's observations.
Later, summer breaks up with Tom leaving him devastated. Tom and Summer meet again at a colleagues wedding, and Summer invites him to her party. Tom attends the party and does not get to spend much time with Summer but mostly spent his time drinking till he spots Summer's engagement ring prompting him to leave the party. On the scene where Tom reaches outside the apartments, the moment is captured in black and white with Tom in the middle. This highlights the sorrow Tom felt on after it dawned on him that he had lost Summer for good. These scenes show that Tom had immense feelings for summer as the love of his life.
How Summer Perceives Tom
Summer, on the other hand, perceived Tom as just a friend. From the scene at the Karaoke when McKenzie was boarding a taxi, he told Summer that Tom had feelings for her. After McKenzie left, Summer asked Tom if he had liked her and he admitted that he indeed did. Summer made it clear she wanted to be just friends with Tom. This is opposite to the cultural character a woman used to portray according to Berger (p.46). This is the moment that defines the kind of relationship Tom and Summer had and gave Summer the window to explore 'friends with benefits' type of relationship with Tom. She enjoyed her time with Tom as shown on the scene they were in the home furnishing store where they played husband and wife.
On the party of Summer, while is having a conversation with Tom and her friend, she makes it known that Tom was a trained architect, she said it with a tone of disappointment and a notion that she thought Tom should pursue a carrier in architecture. This scene shows that Summer cared for the wellbeing of Tom and vouched for him to become a better person and man. It is clear that Summer enjoyed the company of Tom and cared for his welfare despite them not ending up together, showing just how much she regarded Tom as a good friend. In summary, it is clear that Tom and Summer had different perceptions of each other. While Tom saw the love of his life in Summer, Summer saw a good friend in Tom.
Benjamin, Walter. The work of art in the age of mechanical production. New York: Schocken, 1936. Print.
Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. London: Penguin, 2008. Print.
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