A leading idea portrayed throughout the highly appreciated film “Mean Creek” directed by Jacob Aaron Estes was the vast range and importance of various relationships which link and inter twine because of the happenings carried out within the films environment. This verbally enhanced idea incorporates and is conveyed best with the use of dialogue exchanged between characters. The visually dynamic setting which viewers perceive the true personality of characters within helps the audience to understand why characters interact with each other the way they do and why they may or may not have a strong bond. Camera shots also assist in the understanding of certain relationships because of angle, distance from audience and other conventions which we associate with feelings in the world of media. Through the use of these techniques this films ideas are understood with new meaning.
The reationship concept has been defined as a connection by association and involvement; creating a social web throughout schools, families, co-curricular activities, friends, communities and on a global scale, countries. Relationships are found throughout all walks of life depending on personality types, values, acceptance, similarities and differences. They are the bonds we form which shape the lives we lead as they are full of emotion and dedication.
Dialogue said as a guide for interpretation helps the audience respond to characters in a specific way as a means of prior knowledge and deeper understanding of the relationships which form because of this. The dialogue conversed in the scene in which Marty, Rocky and Clyde are drinking in Marty’s car highlight the connection between these characters as it is obvious Rocky is the character that Marty and Clyde both feel they have a stronger bond with. As an audience we witness Clyde being mocked by Marty in an uncomfortable setting where Rocky is forced to defend Clyde as he is the more timid, vulnerable character demonstrating that Rocky and Clyde have a caring and meaningful relationship opposed to Marty and Clyde’s relationship which isn’t nearly as heartfelt, however Clyde does value Marty’s opinion in an elderly brother way the same way he was comforted by Rocky’s approval. Without dialogue relationships would be hard to understand and decipher from an outsiders point of view.
The setting of “Mean Creek” has been arranged and delivered in a certain position on screen to exaggerate character placement and location showing viewers of this film the importance of relationships within the film and the consequences which the setting has in relationships. The death of George scenes setting has been chosen to highlight and portray an alone and adult tone as children are forced to make decisions which they are not capable of in an area away from help providing a feeling of lost hope and abandonment as if these children have been placed here and left to discover and battle their way out of an unruly and unlikely situation. It is in this scene where conflict arises between certain characters as personalities and moral ethics collide resulting in disagreement and arguing. Marty dominates the relationship he has with Rocky, Clyde, Sam and Millie when he decides on behalf of all the other characters what is to be done indicating his lack of remorse for the death of George which also hints the confrontation which occurs throughout their violent and abusive yet short relationship. The positioning of characters in the camera shot of the characters facing the water acts as a guide of the type of relationship all characters have with George before his fatal death.The setting is helpful as without the specifications the storyline would be geographically lost and the ideas situated around relationships would be misunderstood.
Camera shots explore different connotations which have been stressed through different conventions used in the rules and guidelines media has set up for films. They present the audience with a vast range of feelings and ideas from a single capture on screen because of the angle and direction in which the camera is aimed and pointed towards. It is in the scene where Millie and Sam are sitting on a road side centred in the middle of the screen acknowledging the affection and admiration they feel for each other even as young adults. The audience is forced to feel the innocence incorporated in this shot because of the even space surrounding Millie and Sam evoking a sense of equality as they both feel love for one another and are hopeful that the other does too, the equality and spacing highlights their youth while sitting in straight lines opposed to a close and intimate shot; this looks and is accepted as a healthy relationship for their age. A number of shots throughout “Mean Creek” of Millie and Sam also demonstrate this for example the shot of them holding hands at the time of George’s death reveals straight lines and the fair distance they stand from each other. This shot in particular presents realism to the audience and if the audience believes in the film as an aspect of reality it is easily understood and comprehended into their own lives.
These visual and verbal techniques all allow and enforce the audience to be overcome with understanding so that they are not confused while watching this film. They work to involve more than one and connect with other techniques which when put together create a five star film. The audience uses more than one sense to follow the storyline of “Mean Creek”.