Mean Creek- Important Idea
Explain an important idea in a text you have studied. Explain why you found it interesting. Discuss visual and verbal techniques in your answer.
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In the film Mean Creek directed by Jacob Aaron Estes, the important idea of loss of innocence is very interesting as it tells the story and shows us how quickly things can change. The director shows us this through the way the characters change during the burial of George, the word “snap” written in a tree and the guilt felt by Millie and Sam. Firstly I found the important idea of loss of innocence interesting during the burial of George as this is when they lose their innocence.
When they decide to bury Georges body the character all lose what innocence they had left. This is shown as everyone help besides Millie who doesn’t want to have a part in it. At this moment the director uses a combination of dark lighting and close up shots of Millie’s partially hidden face in the shadows of the trees to show how dark and lost Millie has become since the death of George. She is hiding from the truth and wants to act like nothing is going to change. The director also uses a slow sad chelo during this scene as lament like, it is a metaphor for the death of Millie’s and everyone else’s innocence.
Millie is already starting to feel guilty as she earlier in the film stated “go ahead Clyde start the game”. This shows she does not feel innocent at all but does not want to admit it. When Millie is by herself instead of helping with the burial a foley effect is used as she stabs a snail followed by sudden silence. This was Millie’s was to let at all her frustration and anger on the events that have occurred and her own actions which contributed in Georges death. This scene helps makes the important idea interesting as it is the moment when they all lose their innocence.
Secondly I found the important idea interesting through the way Millie carved the word “snap” into a tree. At the start of the film when Millie and Sam are innocently talking about what George did to Sam, Millie says “If you could snap your fingers and he would drop dead in his tracks would you? A wide shot is used to show George sitting down by himself, this shows how lonely he is and makes us actually feel sympathy towards him. This is followed by silence which shows how Sam doesn’t want to hurt George. This emphasises the innocence of Sam as he did not wish to do anything which could result in the death of George.
This Quote foreshadows the death of George. As a viewer tension builds u as we wait the events that link to the death. After the death of George, Millie engraves the word “Snap” into a tree. This is significant as it shows how life can change as fast as the snap of the fingers. A foley effect is used on the scratching of the knife on the tree to show Millie’s anger and how she feels they have not only turned flipped there life upside down but they took a life and destroyed Georges relatives lives. The foley effect turns your attention the Millie as the viewer anticipates what she is writing . e now see how just 24 hours before they were all living a normal happy life but now they are emotionally distort and stumped for a conclusion of what to do. The word snap makes the important idea of loss of innocence interesting as it shows how fast they have totally lost their innocence. Lastly loss of innocence is seen as interesting as Millie and Sam come out and talk about what has happened. When Sam goes to Millie’s room we notice a great change in her personality and feelings. Millie is no longer a bright happy person as we now see her as a frightened little girl.
The director uses dark lighting and a wide shot to shows as Millie steering into the mirror. When Millie is steering into the mirror it is silent as she looks frustrated and confused as if she thinks her appearance should have change but everything looks the same as if nothing has happened. When Sam talks to Millie a combination of dark lighting and close up shots of Millie’s half hidden face in the darkness of her bedroom show us how miserable she looks as she is hiding from the truth and is in denial of the fact that their life has changed. What do you want”, “I was just there” shows us how Millie does not want to accept the truth as well as the consequences of her actions but knows she can not live with all the guilt. Millie was trying to act like she feels innocent but the remorseful ton in her voice suggests otherwise. Sam and Millie know they are not innocent as the guilt inside them grows and makes them wonder if keeping George’s death a secret is the best thing to do. When we become doctors and lawyers and all that what do you think it will be like? ” The director follows this question with silence to show how they both think telling the truth and accepting the consequences will be best. This makes us feel sorry for them and it is as if some of their innocence has come back to them as we are reminded of the fact that they are still children when they talk about their future and that they have “come to a decision” of telling the truth which is what they wanted in the first place.
In conclusion I found the important idea of loss of innocence very interesting as the director takes as on a roller-coaster of feelings as kids make the biggest decision of their lives. With the burial of George, the word “Snap” and the guilt felt by Sam and Millie the children’s innocence is lost but they regain some as they come to the correct conclusion. The interesting idea of loss of innocence shows us how fast some of the most innocent people feel guilty and how people can unintentionally lose their innocence in a matter of minutes.