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How does the director, Peter Medak, create sympathy for Derek Bentley in the opening 25 minutes of Let Him Have It!?

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How does the director, Peter Medak, create sympathy for Derek Bentley in the opening 25 minutes of "Let Him Have It!"? As this film is simply based on a true story, the director, Peter Medak, can make a choice and then decide which parts of the original story can be used and expanded on to create a particular effect. In contrast to this, he can also choose which information is not needed and furthermore left out deliberately. I will aim to explore the different parts of Bentley's life and the way in which Mendak manipulates the audience to sympathise with Bentley as the film evolves and progresses. The first scene presented is set during a World War II air raid. The camera travels around capturing scenes of pain and suffering until it rests over a pile of rubble from under which Derek Bentley is discovered. When the rubble is removed, the face of a small, white-faced boy is revealed. The first impact that strikes the audience that a small, innocent child is in pain. Medak creates empathy for Derek here as the idea of a suffering child affects the mind more than a grown adult as a child is considered innocent and na�ve and not deserving of injury. A further reason is that this is an event that is out of Derek Bentley's control therefore generating a feeling of vulnerability towards Bentley and also of blamelessness; that he is being targeted for something that is not his fault nor something he can control. ...read more.


This shows that the system in Britain has failed him. Also Mr Bentley comments that the judge asked Derek to spell 'fluorescent' and he claimed that that was the reason why Derek was sent to the approved school. The judge does not answer. I think this is done for the purpose of creating sympathy because it shows that Mr Bentley should admit that his son is mentally disabled and it is not because of this single event in court. Again this is out of Mr Bentley's or the headmaster's control. As Bentley is has been asked to leave the approved school, the film picks up his life one year later. Derek's sister, Iris, brings him comics. Two ways in which sympathy is created here are, firstly, that Iris goes out and buys items for a 19 year-old, who should by now have got a job and even possibly moved out. The audience may consider this as pathetic but there will be a degree of sympathy for Derek. The next method by which sympathy is produced is that a nearly fully grown man is reading comics. This shows his limited intelligence by the fact he reads things that are very simple and which have lots of pictures. Bentley seems to be spending most of his time in his room and in the house. ...read more.


Sympathy is created by showing that even though Derek has new found confidence, he is still out of his depth. Derek's involvement with Christopher Craig is ultimately his downfall and in the early stages of their 'friendship' Derek appears slightly uncomfortable. To start with, when Craig is first seen in the story, he comes across as a predator. He appears to be waiting for Derek and when Derek walks past on the way to the shops with vulnerable body language, his face lights up with a menacing sneer as if he has seen a victim in the form of Derek Bentley. The next time Derek meets Craig, with some meaning, is in the butchers. Craig purposely follows Derek into the butchers. After Derek has bought his meat, the butcher asks for his ration booklet but Derek can't read which token it is. Craig offers to help but 'accidentally gives him the wrong token. Sympathy is shown up as Derek is shown up in a shop full of people because of Craig's 'mistake'. All through the first 25 minutes of the film, Medak piles unfortunate event upon unfortunate event onto Derek Bentley. As Derek gains more confidence, this ironically introduces him into more trouble and makes it seem as though staying at home as a recluse was a good thing for Derek. Eventually Derek meets his death because he was trying to be a normal person; a mis-carriage of justice, the ultimate sympathetic event. ?? ?? ?? ?? Adrian Bevan 10G English Media Coursework ...read more.

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