Billy Elliot Essay

993 words - 4 pages

Moving into the world requires strength and determination to overcome the obstacles that your upbringing presents. Due to the world in which he is brought up in he is automatically socially and economically disadvantaged. His family and society’s view on life restricts Billy from personal choice, from freedom of expression and from opportunity. Director Stephen Daldry presents the limitations of Billy’s world in the opening montage. The film opens with Billy tenderly and delicately placing the needle on the record for the T-Rex song ‘Cosmic Dancer’. This encapsulated the idea that music and dance is a natural element of Billy’s spirit. The economic circumstances that Billy has grown up in is evident in the wide shot of his kitchen emphasising the families low social class and pitiable lifestyle. This is portrayed in the clutter visible in the kitchen, dirty dishes in the sink and open cupboards to show mismatched bowls. Billy is completely removed from his world illustrated when Billy is at the piano while Jackie and Tony are utterly occupied with the miners’ strike. Moving into the world is so difficult for Billy because life in Everington is so conditioned people have lost sight of a world greater than ‘mining’. This is demonstrated through Tony’s hyperbole “The whole world is going to be on the picket line this morning” showing how he, along with the rest of the town have such a limited and closed in view of life. On the other hand, this shows a glimpse of Billy’s natural affinity to music and dance. Through Billy sitting at the piano playing, when he has never had a lesson epitomises his strong bond to his mother and we see that Billy could have real talent if he had the opportunity. This scene depicts Billy’s fractured relationship with his father through Jackie’s aggressive words, slamming of the piano lid and Billy’s claim “Mum would have let us” where Billy still persists with music even despite his father’s anger. These social and economic stereotypes within Everington become a barrier for Billy to move into the world. This barrier can only be overcome through his own strength and determination and with the support of others.

It took a great deal of willingness and determination to move into the world and break free from society’s constraints. Despite the fact that Billy stumbles on ballet by accident, he is clearly drawn by the shear fact that he is willing to attend lessons in secret. It takes extreme perseverance to make it in dance. In Billy’s first major barrier, mastering the Pirou Ette, Daldry presents an interlaced sequence of at least 8 moments in time showing Billy persisting through failed attempts and still finding the strength to pick himself up and try again. The sheer exhaustion of this is shown through the close-up shots, enhanced by the multi-layering effect, of Billy’s face when...

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