In a character through various filmic techniques.

In a character through various filmic techniques.

In visual texts, characters are developed through aspects such as set, props, positioning and movement of actors, costume / make-up, framing, lighting, camera techniques, and sound. Analyse how a character is developed in a visual text you have studied. Often a visual text conveys a message about a character through various filmic techniques. This is certainly true in the film “In The Name of the Father”.

This story is mainly about a young man who is arrested for a crime he did not commit and how a relationship between father and son blooms amidst the tragedy.The main character, Gerry Conlon, is first portrayed to the viewer as an unruly rebel but is later developed into a more docile and compliant character. The director, Jim Sheridon, uses filmic techniques such as costume design and make-up, dialogue and extended metaphors to convey the development of Gerry as a character. The first time the viewer sees Gerry Conlon, he is in his baggy, faded jeans and messy long hair stealing lead from a rooftop. There is certainly no doubt that Gerry is portrayed to the viewer as a rebellious character and one who is associated with negatively.The use of costume design and general make-up of the character allows Gerry to be seen in such a way. The baggy jeans and uncut hair gives the viewer the correct impression that Gerry does not have respect for his appearance and undoubtedly does not care about what others think about him.

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However, towards the end of the film, the viewer sees Gerry in a completely different light. His hair is pulled back and neatly combed; showing that he now takes care of his appearance. His change is also seen when his lawyer asks him if he is scared of the court he replies “…I just don’t want to be humiliated again”.This shows that Gerry now also cares about what other people think about him.

Jim Sheridon portrays Gerry’s dramatic change from the boisterous character that he was to a compliant character is excellently shown through the change in costume and make-up. Another filmic technique used to portray the development of Gerry as a character was through the use of dialogue. In the first half of the film, we hear nothing short of blasphemy and expletives come out of Gerry’s mouth.Almost every sentence is peppered with indecent words. An example is when his lawyer tries to console him, he replies “… I’ll pay the f****** price, don’t you worry about it”. But, as we progress through the film, the viewer hears less and less blasphemy from Gerry.

Even when Gerry gets angry, Gerry says what he means in an educated and straight-forward manner. For example when Joe McAndrew crosses the line by lighting a guard on fire, Gerry goes up to him and says, “That was a good day’s work, McAndrew.A good day’s work… You’re not looking me in the eye when you’re speaking to me…” as opposed to throwing expletives at him, which he would have done in the past. The change in the way of speaking is a subtle but extremely effective way of showing the development in a character and Jim Sheridon uses it to show the development of Gerry’s character for the better. The most subtle technique used by Jim Sheridon in order to convey the development of Gerry was through the use of an extended metaphor.Jim Sheridon uses the movie “The God Father” during a prison scene in order to express the development of Gerry’s character. The subtle quote in the background said by one of the characters of “The God Father”, “… you’re lookin’ more like your father each day…” was used to convey to the viewer that Gerry had changed from being the disrespectful rebellious boy in Belfast into his father, Giuseppe Conlon, a respected and honourable man.

I found that this was an incredibly clever technique to show the viewer that Gerry was changing into a better man.The director, Jim Sheridon, effectively uses these filmic techniques in order to demonstrate the development of Gerry Conlon as a character. These techniques were used to portray the change in Gerry’s character from a reckless and careless character into a decent and reputable man. In my opinion, Sheridon chooses to develop Gerry’s character into someone more likeable not only for the sake of the movie but also to show the viewers that people can change, even someone like Gerry Conlon.

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