Billy Elliot Film Explored Essay

1580 words - 7 pages

 
Thesis: as we grow up and move into a new phase of life, obstacles and challenges must be overcome.
In the life of an individual various obstacles and challenges must be conquered during the transitions of growing up and moving into a new world. When moving into the world, an individual may feel the need to venture into this new path and deviate from the customary path, which may lead to personal experiences and influences that have impacted the alternation of their lives. The film “Billy Elliot” composed by Stephen Daldry demonstrates the journey of the eponymous character, Billy who attempts to challenge the socially non-accepting and oppressive times which accompanied the Thatcher era of the miner’s strike during 1984-85 to forge a life in the gender stereotyped world of ballet.
Venturing into the world is the result of a need to break free from the old world where an individual feels restricted in the environment they are currently in. ‘Billy Elliot’ is set in a world during the financially stricken and economically weakened era of the miner’s strike. The film is set in the fictional town of Everington where the social issues of poverty and class are highlighted. Billy lives in a world where gender stereotypes played a role in shaping societal boundaries of what is socially expected from a ‘male’. Daldry uses the masculine sport of ‘boxing’ to represent Billy’s failure: “You’re a disgrace to them gloves, your father, and the traditions of this boxing hall.” Billy is willing to push and challenge the gender barriers and expectations by exclaiming: “I don’t wanna do boxing, I wanna be a ballet dancer!” A close up of Billy’s face along with an uplifting use of lighting captures his passion and his secret longing to express it. Consequently, a ripple effect is caused due to his attempt to challenge society. This creates conflict within Billy’s family. Billy’s dad, Jacky shows his discontent when he yells:
“Boys do boxing, football, wrestling, not bloody ballet!” the use of the explicit profanities mirror, as well as accentuate societies ferocity at Billy challenging the gender-based stereotypes which were clear and defined.

Entering a new world can be a difficult process, as depicted in…
Furthermore, conflict with family The experiences of moving into the world of dancing changes Billy’s maturity and confidence. Initially, he is restricted by the narrow-minded and myopic society. His father’s identity as a miner and ex-champion boxer reverberates the fact that he holds very traditional male values. Billy experiences conflict as he is torn between his affection for dancing shown in the lyrics in the opening scene “I danced myself right out of the womb” and the expectations of his father. Daldry employs cross-cutting between Billy’s dancing lessons and with scenes of his family at the picket line. Billy’s dancing lessons with the girls are filled with bright natural lighting to reflect purity and hope, whilst the darker colours at the...

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