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

How effective is the film In the Valley of Elah in presenting a viewpoint of war and the military and their impact on contemporary American society?

Extracts from this document...


How effective is the film 'In the Valley of Elah' in presenting a viewpoint of war and the military and their impact on contemporary American society? It could be said that the motion picture 'In the Valley of Elah' effectively relocates our minds out of the stereotype of soldiers as heroes, to war crime committers causing a huge impact on the contemporary American society, given that it reveals a shameful truth. Within its powerful plot, the character of Hank Deerfield, played by Tommy Lee Jones, Oscar winner for this dramatic and vital role, illustrates a father struggling to accept the death of two sons serving the American Armed Forces. Deerfield's dramatic journey throughout the film drives him to meet Detective Emily Sanders, successfully interpreted by Charlize Theron, an unappreciated yet resolute police officer whose career is being under distress because of irrespective male colleagues. The character of Hank Deerfield alongside of Emily Sanders partake in a discovery uncovering, in which provokes a new disturbing knowledge of unexpected military events. Whilst these events are revealed, throughout 'In the Valley of Elah' a strong and negative view of war and the military is presented by the director Paul Haggis. ...read more.


This gives the viewer a hint of why Hank behaves in certain ways, and also reminds us of his nationalism, as when he is in the barracks and happens to face a random soldier's room that keeps an Iraqi flag, making Hank extremely uncomfortable. Yet in the barracks, Hank discovers his son's kit bag, which used to belong to him. At this instance, there is a camera close up on Hank's face, which surprisingly reveals a tender and sad emotion; the viewer realises that Hank actually cares and misses his son. Furthermore, Hank steals Mike's phone, reflecting the presence of his previous military career. He also acquires his son's Bible, illustrating the presence of biblical themes on the film. The viewer is conducted to empathise, now, with the character of Hank as he seems be abandoned. The decision to make Hank's appearance appealing to the viewer is chosen by the director so that we feel compassionate for him, and start taking his side; resulting effectively in the audience recreating a new idea of how military affects us, in the same way it will further in Hank. ...read more.


This cause a huge impact on the viewer, as the director proves effectiveness showing his point of view on the military with the lack of emotions seems to represent the effect the war and the military applies on the soldiers' life. Another important point of impact for the viewer, is when it is discovered that the state actually was aware of the true murderers of Mike, and that the state preferred to give a private sentence, so that there was no court involving the case in order that it was not publicised and the stereotype of the army and its members continued intact. Nevertheless, it made Hank realise that he had been idolising a fraud. As a motif and a symbol for that, the director presented his point of view over a scene where Hank, took the US flag that used to belong to Mike in Iraq and ran it upside down, reflecting his disgust for the turmoil condition the US has become. In conclusion, I believe Haggis has effectively showed his point of view on the war and the military and its impact on the contemporary US society. Throughout the film, he led its viewer so that they were charismatically guided to support his point of view. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ingrid Nicacio Page 1 of 4 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Audience and Production Analysis 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 GCSE Audience and Production Analysis essays

  1. How Does The Director Tim Burton Convey The Alienation Of Edward Scissorhands At The ...

    Out of the window you can see the mansion and a low angle shot is used when looking out of the window to make it seem as if you are looking up at the mansion and this makes it seem very overpowering.

  2. Evaluate the success of the dramatic conflict in "Abigail's Party" by Mike Leigh

    In act 2, the conflict between Beverly and her husband Lawrence comes out into the open, fuelled quite clearly by alcohol. Beverly s attack on Lawrence focuses on his masculinity, which she constantly undermines, and the audience become increasingly aware of the deteriorating state of their marriage.

  1. oh what a lovely war

    station state that our casualties are only some sixty thousand: most slight. The wounded are very cheery indeed". The simple idea of sixty thousand people who have been ripped apart by bullets or bombs being "very cheery" is somewhat bizarre.

  2. How are good and evil characters presented in The Fellowship of the Ring?

    In fact, the Balrog was mentioned earlier in the film, when the Fellowship passes over Caradhras. The scene switches to a room in Orthanc. Saruman the wizard is seen reading from a book of lore, and starts to speak to Gandalf "You know what they awoke in the darkness in Khazad-dum "says Saruman "Shadow and flame".

  1. Why in your opinion has Star Wars: A New Hope become such an iconic ...

    There was a universal feeling that women had at the time of Star Wars: A New Hope, this was that they were defenceless and vulnerable. Women were portrayed week and defensless in many films in the 1970's, Star Wars: A New Hope stays with this traditional convention about women.

  2. What makes the beginning of the film The Others an effective beginning of a ...

    Then, the shot cuts sharply to an extreme close up on Grace, which acts as a shock to get the film underway. The camera turns to an upright position, as the previous shot was angled, to disguise the fact that she was lying down.

  1. In Your opinion is Johnny Depps Portrayal of Willy Wonka in Charlie and The ...

    Due to these sparks, the whole production becomes set alight and starts to burn. This shows another resemblance in these characters as in 1984 Michael Jackson was filming a Pepsi commercial, when there was a mechanical fault. This caused sparks, much like in the puppet show.

  2. How well does the film "GLORY" portray black people during the American Civil ...

    Clip 2 Basic Training Firstly compared to the last clip were Robert Gull Shar speaks to the Blacks respectfully treating them like human beings, however in this scene it could be no different as one of the whites cornels is shouting aggressively to a number of Black men using swear words and also refereeing to them as dumb.

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