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How does Peter Medak gain the viewers sympathy for Derek

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Introduction

'Let him have it' is a heart breaking British film produced in 1991 under the direction of Peter Medak. It was set in 1952 and was based on a true emotional story which Medak took full advantage of to increase the sympathy from his audience. The film centralises around the death of an innocent man Derek, who lost his life to capital punishment. His misfortune was due to his vulnerability and easily influenced nature which, lead him to fall in to the wrong crowd. The reason I think Medak decided to direct this film was because he wanted to promote his point of view on injustice and capital punishment. Also, I think he directed this film because even to the present day, people are still debating whether the event was a sense of injustice. We also know that Medak is sensitive about this topic because the majority of his previous films are on this matter. In the film, a sense of havoc and mayhem is instantly created as the first camera shot consists of fire blazing and people panicking. Medak has cleverly done this to capture the immediate interest and curiosity of the audience. He further establishes a sense of mayhem as there is an absence of music other than the sound of fire engines and people screaming. The camera then slowly zoom's past the fire and shows Derek's dad scrambling away at debris to find Derek. ...read more.

Middle

This also brings Derek's naivety to the attention of the audience as a normal nineteen year old would have known about the sign at the bottom of the cigarettes. Later on in this scene Bentley lied to his dad about where he got the blue jacket from. As Bentley walked away, the camera slowly did a close up of his face and showed how he was disappointed. Medak has done this to gain our empathy and also to show that Derek knows what he is doing is wrong. The reason I think Medak chose to do this scene was because it shows that Derek still greatly loves his father. It also shows that Derek has started lying to his father which is the first sign of him changing. The scene which shows Derek getting an epilepsy test for the army greatly gains the audience's sympathy. Medak directs Derek to appear scared as he'd had the test before and therefore knows what the outcome will be, but has the test anyway. When he is having the fit, the camera slowly zooms in to Bentley's face and the music is fast and strong beated. This is done to achieve even more of the audience's sympathy. I think medak has included this scene to demonstrate the eagerness of Derek wanting to be normal. Medak uses the scene of Derek having a fit in the car, to once again create empathy from the audience and to remind us of his epilepsy. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows his concern for himself as well as his family. The questions that he asked remind us of his simplicity and create empathy from the audience. During the execution, everything happened rapidly. At precisely nine o clock, he was hung with a bag over his head and before we knew it, he dies. This emphasised the cruelty of capital punishment and also makes the audience feel sorry for the way Derek's life turned out. At the end of the film it shows Derek's family crying and sobbing over capital punishment. This also shows how Capital Punishment can change families forever. This is another point Medak was determined to set by directing this film. The last shot of the movie was a crane shot of Derek's street. This is almost a flash back on his very short life. I think the main statements that Medak makes are the error of capital punishment and the innocence of a vulnerable Derek. This is done by Medak being bias towards Derek by continuously showing him in a sympathetic light and greatly exaggerating his disability and vulnerability. I personally feel that Medak was successful in making these points as he used clever techniques such as silent music and close ups to make the audience sympathise much further for Derek. The fact that the film is a true story is undoubtedly a unique selling point and is more likely to capture and sustain the audience's emotions as they know that someone was treated in such an unfair and unjust way. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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