An important idea in the film Mean Creek directed by Jacob Aaron Estes is bullying. This idea is conveyed through the verbal feature of dialogue and the visual features of actions and shot types/camera angles. Through the use of these techniques we are able to understand the ideas of the film much more clearly.
Bullying - someone who unfairly uses their size and strenght to hurt or frighten others. Bullying is an important idea in the text as it is the cause for Sam to want revenge on George which leads to his death. George uses physical and mental forms of bullying to hurt people because of his own insecurities and anger issues.
The first technique that helps the viewer to understand the idea of bullying is the dialogue. This is a verbal technique which shows bullying in the form of mental and emotional abuse that George uses to inflict harm. In the scene of Mean Creek when they are playing truth and dare this verbal technique is used when George gets angry at everyone in the boat, the dialogue is course with lots of swearing and put downs made. "Shut the fuck up, Clyde! You faggot! Fucking skinny butt-munching faggot. I hate you! You know that? I really do! Because all you do is fucking prance around school, talking about your fucking faggoty fairy fathers!".This verbal technique of dialogue shows how George is mentally and emotionally bullying Cylde by calling him names and taunting him about his gay fathers. This technique makes the theme of bullying easier to understand as the language is course and hurtful which really emphasizes the extent and pain George puts his victims through when bullying them.
Another technique used that helps the viewer to understand the theme of bullying is the characters actions. This is a visual technique which shows bullying as George physically fights others intentionally trying to hurt them. This visual technique is shown in the first scene of Mean Creek when George is attacking Sam for touching his camera. "Hey! What do you think you're doing? You're a punk, Sam! if i ever catch you fucking with my camera again". In this scene George's actions are very violent as he uses his strenght to his advantage by tackling and punching Sam, resulting in Sam now having a black eye and wanting revenge on George.This visual technique shows the theme of bullying as George uses his actions to physical bully Sam.This technique makes the theme of bullying easier to understand as his actions are used to inflict harm on others, this shows how he bullies Sam and his lack of self control and respect of others.
Viewers are helped to understand the idea of bullying by using the visual technique of different shot types and angles.This technique is important when conveying the idea of bullying to viewers as it helps enhance and manipulate their thoughts. This technique is specifically used in the truth and dare scene when George and Marty are having their dispute. By using this technique of different shot types and angles it helps show the roles reserving between the antagonist and protagonist. During the beginning of their argument Marty is the antagonist he is standing up in the boat which is shown from a low angle, this makes him look powerful and his dialogue more forceful . As the scene proceeds the George now becomes the antagonist ,this is shown by George now being in the exact same position as Marty but on the other side of the boat. As George gets more out of control the scene shows close ups of his face, which gives attention to his facial expression and over the shoulder shots to manipulate the viewers to see George as the bully and antagonist."And speaking of dead... fathers... I just remembered why bonehead white-trash fucking donkey-dick Marty got so fucking freaked when I started talking about his "daddy". His neanderthal, drunk father put a gun in his mouth and splattered his brains all over the wall ". This technique plays a big role in manipulating and making the idea easier to understand as it helps to clearly show the roles reserving between the bully by the use of camera angles, it also emphasizes the dialogue by using shot types.
In conclusion bullying is an important idea in the film Mean Creek visual and verbal techniques are used to help make it easier to understand to viewers. Dialogue helped show the idea by the course language and the form of mental and emotional bullying towards Cylde. Actions helped convey the idea of bullying by the physical abuse George inflicts in Sam, shot types and camera angles show the idea more clearly by showing the reserve roles of antagonist and protagonist between George and Marty. without these visual and verbal technique the theme of bullying would not be clearly displayed to viewers as they emphasizes detail and manipulate the audience.
By LilyRose Dyer.