“The Visitor”: A Film About Humor, Realism and Social Relations

1. Introduction

“The Visitor” is a 2007 American film directed by Thomas McCarthy. The film stars Richard Jenkins as Walter Vale, a Connecticut college professor who discovers the life and culture of New York City when he meets Tarek (Haaz Sleiman), a young Syrian man, and Zainab (Danai Gurira), his Senegalese girlfriend.

The film was very well received by critics and was nominated for several Awards, including an Academy Award for Richard Jenkins’ performance.

2. The film “The Visitor” by Thomas McCarthy

2.1. The humor

The humor in “The Visitor” is very subtle. It is not the kind of humor that will make you laugh out loud, but it is the kind of humor that will make you smile and feel good.

There are two scenes in particular that I found to be very funny. The first is when Walter, Tarek and Zainab are sitting in a café and they are talking about music. Tarek is trying to explain to Walter what kind of music he likes and how it is different from the music that Walter likes. The way that Tarek tries to explain it is very funny and charming.

The second scene is when Walter, Tarek and Zainab are at a nightclub and they are dancing. The way that they are dancing is very funny and charming. It is clear that they are all having a great time and that they are enjoying each other’s company.

2. 2. The realism

“The Visitor” is a very realistic film. It does not sugarcoat the reality of immigration or the reality of life in New York City.

There are two scenes in particular that I found to be very realistic. The first is when Tarek is arrested by the police and taken to jail. This scene is very realistic because it shows how easy it is for immigrants to be targeted by the police and how difficult it can be to get out of jail once you are in it.

The second scene is when Zainab is talking to her friend on the phone and she says that she wishes she could go back to Senegal. This scene is realistic because it shows how hard it can be for immigrants to adjust to life in a new country, even if they are with someone they love.

2. 3. The social relations

“The Visitor” is a film about social relations. It is about the relationships between people from different cultures and how they can learn from each other.
In one scene, Walter tells Tarek that he should not trust people who are not like him. This scene is important because it shows how bias can prevent people from learning about other cultures. However, later in the film, Walter learns that he was wrong and that there are good people from all cultures, including the culture that Tarek comes from. This scene shows how we can all learn from each other if we open our minds and hearts.

3. Conclusion

“The Visitor” is a captivating and interesting film that integrates humor, realism and social relations. It is a film that everyone should see.


The title refers to the mysterious intruder that John finds in his house. The significance of the title is that it creates a sense of suspense and mystery, which helps to create an atmosphere of fear and paranoia.

McCarthy uses setting to create atmosphere and tension by making the house seem like a dark and foreboding place. He also uses the sound of the wind howling outside to make the reader feel as if something bad is about to happen.

The titular visitor is never actually seen or identified, but their presence is felt throughout the story. They seem to be responsible for breaking into John's house and leaving strange items around the property. Their role in the story is to create a sense of unease and paranoia in John, which eventually leads him to commit suicide.

John never calls the police after finding evidence of a break-in because he is afraid that they will think he is crazy. He also feels isolated from society and believes that no one would believe him if he told them about the intruder.

McCarthy explores themes of paranoia, fear, and isolation in "The Visitor" by making the reader feel as if they are in John's shoes. Through his use of setting and description, McCarthy makes it easy for readers to understand how John is feeling throughout the story.