• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Mike Leigh use mise en scene to create meaning in the barbeque scene at the end of 'Secrets And Lies'?

Extracts from this document...


'Secrets And Lies' How does Mike Leigh use mise en scene to create meaning in the barbeque scene at the end of 'Secrets And Lies'? As the narrative unfolds in Mike Leigh's 'Secrets And Lies' we reach the dramatic climax of the film, the barbeque scene. This has significance to the title of the film, 'Secrets and Lies' as all the hidden secrets, such as Monica's inability to have children, and Cynthia's secret daughter, Hortense are revealed to their families. In the opening sequence the first view of Monica is one of her hovering and stencilling with aggression, connoting to the audience her obsessive nature and how she wrongly prioritises materialistic things to disguise the fact she is incapable to conceive. The opening shot of the barbeque scene is of Monica preparing the table, which heightens the view that she is overly concerned with appearance. Typically of Monica it is perfectly laid out however it is telling that the chairs are mismatching which connotes she is not used to having family gatherings or certainly not Maurices family. ...read more.


As Monica opens the door to the downstairs toilet she boasts, 'I wanted to give it a Mediterranean feel', the toilet is all shades of peaches and yellows also highlighting Monica being pretentious and her obsession with materialism. She then includes the garage and the airing cupboard in her tour to show off her trophy house, which is strange, but then again connotes Monica's priorities and materialistic values. She then leads them upstairs to show them her very white feminine 'fairytale' master bedroom, the more Monica brags the more Cynthia makes spiteful remarks, 'I can't see Morris thrashing about on there'. Jane also comments its 'like a hotel' although Jane said this as a compliment it can be seen negatively as there is no cosy warm feel to the room. Jane then quite wrongly states 'you've got everything Monica' this is highly ironic, because the one thing Monica wants most in life she cannot have so she hides this with a fa�ade. Cynthia feels envious about all the money Monica has spent on her house when she lives in a run down small house with her daughter Roxanne. ...read more.


Pathetic fallacy is used when the cake is being bought out to Roxanne, the sky is grey and storm clouds are gathering with the digetic sound of thunder being used. Low lighting is also used creating a pensive atmosphere. As each secret is revealed the storm clouds shift bringing the family closer together and leading to Monica crying in Cynthia's arms, Leigh delivers the message to the audience that honesty is an important element of a strong relationship and without it the relationship will fall apart, 'why can't you tell them... im sorry but its almost destroying our relationship'. Leigh's message is portrayed thought Maurice's speech 'Why can't we share our pain'. One of the central theme to the film is family relationships and honesty however could initially be thought to be a film on racial issues when Hortense is mistaken to be a Jehovah's witness by Monica, The ending scene is gloomy and the atmosphere is ominous, however it is strangely inspiring and we are left with a feeling of hope and a sense of optimism for the family ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Plays section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Plays essays

  1. Looking at the trial and execution of Sir Thomas More, how do Robert Bolt's ...

    Cromwell having stage directions like "(Sighing, rests head in hands)" supports this. Cromwell is also sarcastic: "Brilliant." And Norfolk rounds on him. This is because he is so desperate to get More to sign; he has to introduce some wit to relieve the tension.

  2. First Squirrel Scene

    This aspect is also demonstrated by the repetition of 'Donald Duck, Donald Duck, quack, quack, quack'.

  1. Free essay

    How does the opening sequence of 'The Mummy Returns' create meaning and atmosphere for ...

    Point of view shots are used to give a characters perspective of looking down a corridor, in the case of Rick when he is in the temple. It shows the fear the characters must be feeling appeals to the audience directly to emphasize with them.

  2. Evaluation End

    Also, from a child's point of view, the school stage made the audience focus on it and made the stage bigger - to show the concept that the actors were children.


    This is true, as broadcasters do not deal with actual audiences. They base the decisions of scheduling on statistics which although valid they tend to be flawed as the article clearly states. On the other hand attending to audiences in a more personal level would be very difficult to do.

  2. What part does the mise en scene play in the introduction of the character ...

    The positioning of the characters is important because they are in a line one behind another this shows the leader of the group is at the front and therefore the most important. As they get deeper into the jungle it is noticeable the screen changes from wide screen to take

  1. Discuss how genre and narrative features create meaning and generate audience response in Twelve ...

    This first scene immediately gets the audience asking questions; who are these people? What connection does the couple have to the young boy? Will the young boy be the protagonist of the film or is his appearance irrelevant? Gilliam incorporates this purposeful mystery to give us our first taste of the thriller element to the film.

  2. "Let Him Have It" How effective is the end of the film in gaining ...

    The fact that the outcome of Derek's trial led to his death makes people more inclined to give their personal opinion, expressing how they really feel about the case. The ambiguous phrase 'Let Him Have It,' that Derek exclaimed as Chris was about to open fire, causes most of the controversy.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work