Saturday, November 20, 2010

TASK 4- Story structure & Theme

FILM ANALYSIS

My Pick- A Christmas Carol (1983), which is my personal favorite since I was a kid. A lovely Disney adaptation of Charles Dickens masterpiece.









IDENTIFYING:

1) The archetypes in the characters
- The story mainly revolves around Ebenezer Scrooge, a miser who is a perfect prototype of a wealthy and greedy individual who eventually turns over a new leaf caused by a chain of harrowing events.
- Bob Cratchit, an overworked but underpaid employee of Scrooge whose character arc remains consistent throughout the film as a blue collared employee who works in fear of his boss but yet a sober personality.
- Isabelle, who plays the former love interest of Scrooge, devotes herself to Scrooge for years but is unfortunately shunned by him over his love for money.
- Another archetype would be Fred, who plays a brief role as Scrooges' jovial nephew.

2) The character’s personality traits, life and motivation
- Scrooge is manifested as a person who doesn't give anyone a reason to appreciate him but despite that is never judged by others. As a stingy individual, he overlooks the misfortune of the poor and needy. Even at the time of Christmas which is the season of giving and merriment, to him happiness is reduced to 'humbug'. His motivation prior to encountering the christmas spirits was to dwell in his own wealth-driven world of selfishness. However, the confrontation by the 3 spirits and Jacob Marley, his deceased employee, brings about a major alteration in his life. Bound by the chains of greed, Marley's ghost heeds warning to Scrooge about the adversities of his selfishness. It is during his confrontation with the 3 spirits that brings him to realization the need to turn over a new leaf in order to make life better for everyone around him by learning from his bright past and oblivious present that is likely to follow up by an ill fated future.

3) How does the film keep the audience engaged? What do you think the key factors are?
- The message conveyed by depicting Christmas, the season of giving, holds great moral value which makes the movie a learning experience. Also the character arc of Scrooge holds great appeal. The journey of his transformation through a look into his past helps the audience to penetrate into Scrooge's background followed up by his present which leads to speculate about the possible outcome of his future. It is the visit of the 3 spirits which act as the catalysts for Scrooges' realization which draws empathy from the audience.


4) What are the elements or patterns repeated throughout the film? At what points? And what do you think is the purpose or intention?
- In the lines of colors, theres a very stark contrast between the beginning and towards the resolution of the film. The constants use of various dull shades of blue indicates not just a suppressed environment at the counting house and Scrooge's home but it also explains his state of mind which is that of a cold natured person. However, from the moment Scrooge is awakened to a new dawn after his nightmare, the colors illuminate to pleasing shades of yellow manifesting his realization and drastic change in heart.
- The phrase 'humbug' is used by Scrooge throughout the first act of the film, which shows his ignorance and depiction of anything pleasing or related to Christmas is insignificant and rubbish.
- Another element used to show the the passage of time is the clock.


5) Throughout the form of the film, try to establish the plot and sub-plot. How does the revelation compare from the beginning to the end?
- The main idea carrying the story forward is the journey of Scrooge who is in the process of learning from the self-destructive mistakes of his past and present in order to eliminate the unfortunate events likely to occur in his future which also includes the ill-fate of Tiny Tim, the youngest son of Scrooge's underpaid employee, Bob Cratchit. 
It is the heart-rending sub plot of Cratchit's impoverishment that runs parallel to Scrooge's conflict. Unless Scrooge fails to concur with Cratchit's deprivation, he will be single handedly responsible for the untimely death of the incapacitated Tiny Tim. However, the resolution ends on a positive note when Scrooge is given a second chance in his life to reconcile with his temperament and change his negative outlook towards the less fortunate.

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