Watch What's Eating Gilbert Grape
- 1 hr 58 min
What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a remarkably poignant film starring Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Juliette Lewis. Released in 1993 and directed by Lasse HallstrÃ¶m, the film has since earned a spot as a cult classic, thanks to its authentic depiction of small-town American life and the struggles of its residents. The film follows Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp), a young man living in the small town of Endora, Iowa, who works a dead-end job at a local grocery store. Gilbert's father has passed away and his mother, Bonnie Grape (Darlene Cates), is morbidly obese and unable to leave the family home - angering local residents who speculate that the house might collapse under her weight. Due to his responsibilities to his family, Gilbert has long suppressed his dreams and desires, and he appears to be heading in the same direction as his father. Everything changes when Gilbert meets Becky (Juliette Lewis), a young woman traveling across the country with her grandmother. Gilbert is immediately drawn to Becky and begins to see the possibilities of a life beyond Endora. He struggles, however, with his loyalty to his family, particularly his relationship with his younger brother Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio), who has a developmental disability. Arnie's disability manifests in impulsive and potentially dangerous behavior, which puts him at odds with the townspeople and causes concern for Gilbert, who juggles his caregiving responsibilities with his longing for escape. Gilbert and Arnie share an especially close bond, but are often at odds. While Arnie's childlike wonder and eccentricity can be enchanting, it also makes him vulnerable in a cruel world. The film is a sweeping portrayal of small-town America, chronicling the lives of Endora's residents with compassion and empathy. We see the contrasts between the community's long-held traditions and the new ideas and outsider perspectives brought by the likes of Becky, who offers a glimpse of life beyond the small town with an outsider perspective. What's Eating Gilbert Grape deals with themes such as the clash of small-town ideals with the longing for new experiences, the struggle of caregiving and familial responsibilities, and the toll they can take on one's emotional and mental health. It's a deeply moving reflection on loss, grief, and the difficult choices we make to create meaningful lives. The performances by the cast are exceptional. Johnny Depp is understated and convincing in his portrayal of Gilbert's quiet desperation, and Juliette Lewis is a breath of fresh air as the catalyst for Gilbert's self-discovery. Darlene Cates offers a deeply empathetic portrayal of Bonnie, and Leonardo DiCaprio's performance as Arnie is a revelation - raw, intense, and deserving of the praise it earned. What's Eating Gilbert Grape feels like a time capsule of a bygone era, with its nostalgic soundtrack, depiction of small-town life, and emphasis on human connection. The film is heartbreaking, intimate, and immersive, drawing the viewer into the struggles of its characters and the joys of a life lived with purpose.