Film Mise En Scene Analysis: Boy (2010) Taika Waititi

1099 words - 5 pages

The film ‘Boy’ (2010) uses a range of techniques to construct an effective mise-en-scene. Taika Waititi (director) has been able to create aesthetically pleasing scenes to communicate to the audience about the setting, characters, story and themes. The sequence at the beginning of the film is an appropriate example of the good use of mise-en-scene.

The sequence consists of shots which clearly establish the setting. We are shown a long shot of Boy’s class getting ready for a class photo. In the frame, a board with the name of the class, school and year sits at the bottom like it would in any other class photo. This is a more obvious and direct, but at the same time, clever way of telling ...view middle of the document...

“Bye bye my Mokos” she says. We are then given a long shot side-view of the car slowly moving by the kids who are pushing it from behind. The bad condition of the car and the children’s clothes gives the impression that they live in a poor community. Waititi then gives us a wider long shot from behind them which provides us with the opportunity to scan the environment. The great landscape and farm area we see suggests that they live more of a country lifestyle. I believe Waititi’s use of mise-en-scene clearly articulated the intended idea of time and place. We get an understanding of the world they live in. The setting acts as a base which sets our mind up for the story to give a sense of realism and to make it seem more believable.

The mise-en-scene definitely strengthens the portrayal of characters and story. A story which reveals the main theme of a child being let by down by the disappointing reality of his father after building himself up with so many imaginary memories and fantasies of the amazing father he thought he had. Going back to the side-view long shot where the car is being pushed by the kids, we see Boy in the front of the frame as if he’s leading the pack. Though it is a man’s job to lead. This makes us question ourselves: why are the small children even pushing the car? Where are the men? As the car moves forward, it reveals their home. In that instance, our attention is drawn to the unfortunate conditions of the house they have to live in. I would’ve believed that the visual of the car moving out of the shot, exposing the house created a dramatic effect. As if a feeling of safety is leaving, but the expression of Boy and his cousins counter-act that thought. Boy, being put in charge didn’t even seem bothered. Usually, children being deserted by their caregiver would weep out of fear and sadness, but Boy’s mind is too fixed on the idea that his father will be back. To get through the everyday chaos of home, Boy fantasises about...

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