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How does Peter Medak gain the viewer’s sympathy for Derek Bentley in the film ‘Let him have it’?

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How does Peter Medak gain the viewer's sympathy for Derek Bentley in the film 'Let him have it'? In the film 'Let him have it' Peter Medak employs a variety of techniques in order to create sympathy, for Derek Bentley. The story focuses on the injustice of a trial, which saw Bentley, given the death penalty, for a crime he was completely innocent of. Medak uses lighting, camera shots, costume, setting, dialogue, plot and music to convince us this punishment is unfair and he tries to create sympathy in the viewers. The story is about two young lads, Derek Bentley, 19 and Christopher Craig, 16 who are good friends and who are caught committing a crime. During this scene Chris Craig shoots an innocent police officer in the head with a single bullet. The two young lads are taken to court and both are found guilty. Derek is shown no mercy and is sentenced to the death penalty of being hung whilst Chris is sentenced to 10 years. The director gains sympathy for Derek, starting from his childhood. The film starts with a dramatic scene showing that Derek was involved in a serious incident, an air-raid, during the second world war in which he was buried under a pile of rubble. ...read more.


Then Craig shot an innocent police officer in the head with a single bullet. The sympathy for Derek at this moment is created because he tries to help the policemen but the other officer's stops him and held him. Medak adds a section in when Craig starts firing into the thin air because he wants to make us realize that he won't give up but Derek will and surrender and that Chris will try and fight his way out. Another part is that whilst going down the steps when arrested, the officers that were standing there probably were harassing him physically by punching and kicking him as he had bruises and dark patches on his face. The trial was another scene that made the viewers feel sympathy for Derek. Throughout the trial Derek looks confused and scared. He also keeps his head down which indicates he is frightened. As the camera focuses on his face, you can see the cuts and bruises that the police officers had done whilst being arrested which creates sympathy. The camera focuses on the main people in the courtroom such as his family, the judge and the jury. From this scene, the judge seemed a bit biased towards the officers as he said, "These officers showed conspicuous gallantry, are you going to say they are conspicuous lies." ...read more.


Outside the execution place there is a group of people with banners up and praying to Derek as they were on his side of innocent. The sounds at this moment were of the people singing and Derek's family crying. On the day, the families were wearing very dull colours, as it was a very sad day for them. The last moment that Derek sees light is when a black cloth is put over his head and the sound you hear is a very deep gasping. When Derek was walking towards the noose, he was trying to hold back which shows he was scared of dieing. When the camera zooms into the house, it symbolizes Bentley's spirit coming back home and re-uniting with his family. From the film, the director, Peter Medak won his way of achieving sympathy for Derek Bentley. He uses techniques such as camera shots, costume, lighting and facial expressions to convince us that the punishment set to Derek Bentley is unfair and has gained his way to create sympathy in the viewers. The scene that created the most sympathy for the audience is the execution scene as it was his last few minutes to live. Also the prosecutor uses emotive language against Derek and Craig to swerve the jury to make the right decision and both, the judge and jury had made their point. By Julan Shah ...read more.

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