As long as we have had cinema, we have seen males as a prominent role. Here in the United States, we have seen a change within the last few decades, a shift of characters, situations, and roles, all into something more realistic and more relatable. Female actresses have been given more prominent roles, and have been seen as main characters. As the focus of the essay, I will be looking at the portrayal of characters with mental illness, how they have been perceived and how they have changed. Characters with mental illness have changed in cinema in the last few decades, for the better.
From both ways of seeing it, even if some people appear to be distressed by the change in portrayal of the mentally ill, it is for the better. Writers and directors have shifted from using their disabilities as reasons to make them evil, into almost motivations to make them stronger heroes. The role of females has also changed, gaining them lead roles and more recognition in the Hollywood scene. In time, these situations will become more and more common as the current generation grows up into positions of writing and filmmaking, being raised on films that were more tolerant and favorable towards the mentally ill than the previous generation.