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Analyse the opening scene of Billy Elliot and discuss how the director uses media techniques to introduce the character of Billy.

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Introduction

Analyse the opening scene of Billy Elliot and discuss how the director uses media techniques to introduce the character of Billy. The opening scene of Billy Elliot introduces the main character of the movie and gives the audience a taster of what is to come. Just like an interesting start to a book, this opening hooks the audience, and they want to know what is going to happen to the character. During the movie, we see Billy transform from a boxing boy to a ballet boy, but he faces many challenges along the way, particularly between his father and brother, Tony. But once he takes up ballet, he discovers he enjoys it, and we get to see him go from strength to strength. In this essay I aim to analyse how Stephen Daldry uses media techniques to introduce the character in an exciting way to 'hook' his audience. When the film opens, we see a hand placing a record on to a record player. Since it is a close up shot on the camera, we do not know who it is. Until it shows Billy Elliot jumping up and down on the bed. The effect of using the close up on the hand placing the record and needle makes the audience want to find out about the person who is playing the record. The way the record is placed down and held is very gingerly, as if the person shouldn't be using it or should be very careful when using it. ...read more.

Middle

He makes breakfast and then goes to a room just out of the kitchen, but the bed is empty. He runs out of the house in search of whoever has gone missing. When he is running, we see for the first time the scenery of Everington, where Billy lives. The director uses a tracking shot to follow Billy down the street and a long shot to show us what kind of place the Elliot's live in. It isn't the part of Durham you would expect a boy to take up ballet or even have this much responsibility. It is a traditional community with traditional values, where 'men are expected to be men' and boys are expected to follow in their father's footsteps, most likely down the pit. Once we have seen the kitchen, we can tell that there is no one to clean, cook, look after Billy, and do everything that a house wife would traditionally do in that community. Perhaps this is where there is a hint of loneliness or sadness stemming from the lack of a mother on the scene. At this point there is no explanation of no mother which again may be a technique by Daldry to give the character a little mystery and more depth. Billy comes across a field and finds his Nana walking down a path and takes her home. When Billy and his Nana are walking down the path, we can see the miners and the striking miners. ...read more.

Conclusion

His father is a miner, as is Tony, and it probably runs in the family. From the first look at him, you would expect him to be a tough child doing boxing and other sports that men only did back in the 80's. You would expect a boy from an upper class family with more money to do ballet because if people found out that Billy had been doing ballet he would most probably get ridiculed at school. In conclusion, I quite enjoyed Billy Elliot, although I would like to know more about his mother, and how she died, because it could be interesting to see how Billy, Tony, their father and Nana would have coped without her then and what Billy would have been like if she was still with him. The construction of the character is very good. The opening scene is very effective. It gives you an idea of what is to come through out the movie and makes you want to know more about the boy, what he is really like. All we can tell from the opening is that he cares for his Nana, has a lot of responsibilities, and is ecstatic when he is dancing. It may have been interesting if Daldry had shown a glimpse of Tony or his father somewhere in the house, to see how he is different to the rest of the males in the family or if he hides his 'true' personality. ?? ?? ?? ?? Oscar Samant-Laidlaw 10ASJ January 10, 2008 ...read more.

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