Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hi mrs Amos. Here is my essay on Mean creek:

Describe an important idea in the text. Explain how verbal and or visual features of the text help you understand the idea.

An important idea in the film Mean Creek, directed by Jacob Aaron Estes is the idea of revenge and its consequences. This idea is conveyed through silence and the lack of music as verbal techniques, and camera angles and camera movement as visual techniques. Through the use of these techniques, we are able to understand the ideas much more clearly.

An important idea in the text was revenge and its consequences. In the film, Sam was bullied by George, and as revenge, Sam, his older brother Rocky and Rocky’s friends Marty and Clyde invited George on a boat trip along a river. Millie, Sam’s girlfriend also went on the boat trip. The plan was originally a mean, but still a typical teenage boy prank that was not intended to be sinister, but the film showed that revenge can have serious consequences and that plans can go wrong. The film showed that revenge is not a way to solve problems, as the revenge itself can lead to larger problems that can change people’s personalities and views of life.

A verbal technique used to show the idea of the seriousness of the consequence of revenge is silence. When the group realised that George was truly dead, there was almost complete silence because no one spoke and there was no music in the background. Also, the characters moved lightly and did not make much noise. This shows that they were mourning and were shocked by George’s death as a result of their originally innocent revenge plan. The silence was used so that the audience could also feel the character’s sense of fear and tension as they come to terms with the consequences of the boat trip. The lack of sounds makes the reality of George’s death and magnitude of their problems obvious, as there is nothing to hide or cover it up with. This verbal feature helps us to understand that the revenge plan went wrong and that a huge problem arouse out of it.

Slow camera movement is a visual feature that helps the audience understand the consequence of revenge. After George’s dead body was dragged to shore, the camera moved slowly from one scene to the next in one continuous movement, rather than flashing quickly from one event to the next like when Rocky was in the water and the rest of the group were rowing to shore. This slow camera movement shows that there is not much action because the characters were still in shock and sets a slow, sad mood, which is reflected in the character’s emotions and feelings. It shows that the consequence of the revenge plan was very serious and the situation is grim. The camera movement helps the audience to understand that the consequence is bleak and that the result of the revenge plan was not positive.

Different camera angles are also used as a visual feature to show the consequences of revenge. There was a very high angle shot of the group of teenagers standing around George’s body, showing how alone and vulnerable they were. It was similar to when Sam was lying on the ground with other children standing over him, and even though this time, he was the one standing over someone else’s body, it still seemed as if he was completely powerless in the situation due to the high angle shot. This shows that revenge is not a solution to problems, as even though Sam ‘beat’ George, he gained nothing from George’s death. When Millie was about the stab the snail, the director used a low angle shot of her face to show her dominance over the snail. Millie’s decision to kill the snail was unexpected and the low angle put her in a position of power. It showed that the consequence of their revenge plan was very serious and that Millie was changed emotionally by the incident. It showed that Millie is no longer the innocent girl she used to be.

An important idea in the film Mean Creek, directed by Jacob Aaron Estes is the idea that consequences of revenge can be very serious. This idea is shown through the use of verbal techniques, such as silence, and visual techniques such as camera movement and different camera angles. It is through the use of these visual and verbal techniques that the audience can fully understand the idea of the consequences of revenge.


  1. Excellence. Great work Anna. Clear structure. Great detail and discussion. You have a style, very concise but still provides insight. Well done.

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