The Portrayal of Smoker in Mary and Max film

The Portrayal of Smoker in Mary and Max film

Mary and Max (2009) is an animated-clay film about a person named Max that has tourette syndrome. It means that Max can’t control some of his movement like an itch.

Sometimes he does weird things like touching nose of people that Max just meet. But beside of it, the film tells us about a beautiful friendship of Mary and Max.

Mary knows max accidentally from a big address book to ask a question with a little yet short letter. After that, the conversation happens until a bond among them is as strong as a bind of rattan.

This film, in some scene, tells a word about smoker. Is the telling considered as critic? or hatred? Let’s find out!

The first smoker that appear in the film is Mary’s mother. She is portrayed as a heavy-drinker which spends most of her time by cooking and listening to cricket.

When she is not drunk, she is bad temper and also skeptical towards everything. From her character and appearance, I can say that a smoker is described as careless and heavy-drinker.


Also, smoker is considered having bad temper when he/she is not with his/her cigarette.

Hmmm. . .

The second smoker is a stranger at the bus stop. It appears that the stranger is an employee of a certain company. the appearance of this person is only about 10 – 15 second in the film, so there is not much words to say about him.

But for sure, this employee is ignorant and selfish because he threw his cigarette to the pavement.

Maybe it’s also a portrayal of smoker in the director mind about smoker that is ignorant and selfish.

The third one is also a stranger at the bus stop. In the film, smoker also is described as a man, more like hippie-styled hobo. Look at his clothes, it is torn and also the look of him is so pity.

It seems like he had been through many trouble. But well, it’s the way the director portrayed smoker.

Last but not least, smoker is interpreted badly in this film. Smoker is portrayed as a beggar. Max always sees her sitting in the front of his apartment and smoking. It seems the smoker is an old woman who has no family since she always sitting there all time.

In conclusion, the portrayal of smoker in Mary and Max (2009) is mostly bad. Smoker is portrayed as poor, irresponsible, and selfish person.


Even though it is portrayed like that, I can say that this film is only giving critic to smoker that is not responsible to their surrounding. In the film, Max isn’t offended by the smoke.

He only annoyed and offended because smokers in the film always litter. They throw the cigarette butt everywhere.

So Mary and Max is trying to convey a message that we, as smoker, should care about our environment. It is best to put cigarette butt in your pocket if there is no trash bin nearby.

If there is no littering, there shall be peace and harmony right?