Movie Application with Interpersonal Communication Introduction The movie, which I have selected in order to observe and analyze interpersonal conflicts, is ‘My Cousin Vinny’. The reason behind selection of this movie is the association between its story and some of the common interpersonal conflict concepts…
The story takes a turn when someone shoots the store clerk to death. Police officials come to the store in order to collect evidence. The murderers’ descriptions given by the witnesses accidentally match with the appearance of Bill and Stan. The police officials arrest both friends for the court prosecution. Bill’s mother sends an attorney, Vinny, to handle Bill’s case. Vinny, who has been shown as the cousin of Bill, takes the case and becomes the lawyer of Bill and Stan. “He has no courtroom experience, and indeed no experience at all except with a few personal injury cases” (Ebert, 1992). Vinny tries to deceive the judge by saying that he is a well-experienced lawyer whereas the judge doubts his qualification and experience. With all this drama and confusion, the story continues and ends with the dismissal of all charges against Bill and Stan. Interpersonal Conflicts Concepts Having described the plot of the movie, let us now discuss some interpersonal communication concepts in relationship with some specific behaviors found in the movie. The interpersonal communication concepts, which will be included in discussion, are legitimate power, harmful conflicts, and beneficial conflicts. Legitimate power is a form of power, which a person can exercise where needed. This power can be exercised in situations where communication leads to conflicts between people and the conflict does not seem to be resolving by any other means. Use of legitimate power is a successful way to resolve any kind of conflict. Having power is an ability to achieve some objectives whereas having legitimate power is the ability to influence others using some specific laws and regulations. Legitimate power is used in such cases where interpersonal communication is not able to resolve issues successfully because of some law related complexities (Floyd, 2008). In such cases, a person with legitimate power plays his/her role by providing a better solution towards the problem based on proper laws. We can also take example from the movie selected for discussion in this regard. In the movie, Vinny used his legitimate power to fight the case of his cousin who was not involved in the murder and was taken into custody based on wrong proofs. Had Vinny not exercised his legitimate power to call the local sheriff for testifying the allegation, the judge would have made a wrong judgment regarding Bill and Stan. Therefore, we can say that use of legitimate powers is very beneficial to resolve all sorts of conflicts. Another interpersonal communication concept described in the book is that conflicts can be harmful if not treated properly. Interpersonal communication conflicts can produce adverse effects on the involved parties if no proper actions are taken for the resolution of conflicts. In personal relationships, conflicts can put a very negative impact on the strength of relationships. Therefore, interpersonal communication conflicts and personal relationship conflicts need to be managed very carefully because if conflicts persist for a long time, they can be very dangerous for the relationships. In the movie, which was selected for review, Vinny puts his frustration out on his fiancee, Lisa, by taunting her. This attitude of Vinny upsets Lisa and she gets out of the courtroom. This situation makes Vinny alone and he feels that he has not shown a good behavior towards Lisa. Therefore, he gets out of the room for a while and makes Lisa come into the room to ...
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