Geeks logo

Field Of Dreams Film Review

"And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters."

By Marina Caitlin WattsPublished 7 years ago 5 min read
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

"Ray, people will come Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come."

I've spent countless hours watching movies, and only a few quotes have really been significant in my world. This is one of them.

Baseball has always been a mythical experience for many. As America's pastime, from opening day to the World Series is the most wonderful time of the year. (And, it's even more satisfying if you're a Yankees fan like me. But we all can't be perfect). The way that Field of Dreams presents baseball is significant.

Field of Dreams is a compelling story of a man who gets closure from his troubled relationship with his father through the form of a baseball field. It is a powerful metaphor about the narrative nature of the sport, and how for many baseball is more than just four bases on a field.

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) is out on a limb maintaining his farm, which includes expansive cornfields, yet yearns for something more than his monotonous farm life. However, when a mythic voice gives Ray messages to build a baseball field and sends him on a chase, the incredible becomes possible.

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

The screenplay for Field of Dreams is well-written. There is a solid exposition where Ray tells his backstory, and sets up the monotony his life is as a corn farmer. This build-up gets audiences more involved and interested to see what will happen next. It also is funny, as the curmudgeonly Terence Mann (James Earl Jones) makes for comedic relief. Though it is a slow start, viewers are curious to see what comes next, and keep watching. Similar to the sport itself.

The screenplay also heavily outlines the mythical aura the field gives off worth the word choices. For example, Ray and his wife have the same dream about Ray being at Fenway Park with Terrence Mann. This is an excellent way that a higher power, fate perhaps, is telling him to go to Boston in order to talk to Mr. Mann. Mann mentions cosmic tumblers and the sky opening up to show what is possible. At the end of the film, Ray compares Iowa to heaven.

As far as production goes, lighting played a significant role in establishing mood. Smoke and watered down streets and streetlights and neon signs are the only lights at night when Ray meets Moonlight Graham. This emphasizes the majestic presence The field lights on the baseball field light up and reflect the bite off the white sox uniforms. The screenplay, especially

The final scene is full of wonder, as the lights fade everywhere, and Ray’s wife turns on the field lights, and as we zoom out of the field to get an aerial shot, there is total darkness except for the line of cars coming to see the field of dreams. It really proves how baseball was always constant in American culture.

The symbolism used as Shoeless Joe’s voice that Ray hears in the corn fields could be compared to the voice of God, guiding him in a new direction for his life. The field itself can also symbolize the common ground that Ray has with his dad that they finally get to share at the end of the movie.

Ray fears turning into his father, and takes this field of dreams as an opportunity to stay youthful. Ultimately, he gets closure. Mann also goes through some character development, as he finds his happiness again through baseball.

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Field of Dreams hits on the paralleling sports with religious experiences. It excellently ties in the 1919 World Series scandal of the White Sox. They were all kicked off the team after those games for purposefully losing in order to win money. Ray also speaks of hearing about baseball players instead of fairy tales and nursery rhymes when put to bed as a child. This mythical comparison of baseball as a story is kept alive through this.

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

A weakness of this film, however, is the fact that it is more of a film about believing in something than totally focused on baseball. Baseball serves as the gateway for Ray to keep things fresh in his life, and there is more talk about the legacy baseball has and its importance to so many people, instead of the focus on actually playing the sport.

The major themes in Field of Dreams are the insurmountable odds Ray must face in order to save his farm, along with the big chance he gets to give the 1919 World Series White Sox team a chance to play in his field. There are also religious parallels associated with the voice Ray hears, as he at first takes it to be the voice of God “if you build it, he will come.” Finally, there is the closure that Ray gets with his relationship with his father, as the field brings him back to life. The journey that Ray goes through in order to reach that point is very satisfying at the end when he finally gets to have a catch with his dad.

Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Overall, Field Of Dreams is an iconic sports film. It received three Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. It is a moving story about a passionate man out to finally make amends with his father through the form of a baseball field with magical powers.

moviepop culturevintagereview

About the Creator

Marina Caitlin Watts

Marina loves Frank Sinatra and hates decaf coffee. The native New Yorker and Cornell grad knows every word to "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and thinks Shakespeare is cool. If you need her, she's waiting for Godot. Twitter: @marina_caitlin

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.