Narratives are constructed in many different ways; narrative editing, narrative music, cinematography and mis en scene. This assignment will take you through media devises and method used by the directors of “Bend it like Beckham” and “Billy Elliot” use to construct their narratives. The plots of both films are based on stereotypes and how the main characters are challenging them in each film.
This leads to many similarities and differences. “Bend it like Beckham” is set in west London areas; Southall, Hounslow, Twickenham and Ealing, also a section is in Germany. This is about A Indian girl that is growing up in a strict Indian family and that is preventing her from following her dreams to be a female footballer. Jess, gets forbidden to play football because her parents believe that it is a “mans” sport and “not Indian like. ” As Jess has been playing since a child with boys and her best mate Tony she finds this extremely hard!
One day when she was playing in the park with the boys, a girl jogging in the park called Jules came over and asked her to come to the teams trials, she accepts without hesitation. Jess asks her parents permission but they refuse as it’s against their culture. Jess doesn’t want to give up her football so she tells her parents she has a job down HMV and she goes to football. One day her sister Pinky (who is getting married) tries to pick her up from work but Jess has come home from football and is sitting in the living room in front of the television.
Pinky then asks her about the “boy” that she’s sneaking off to go and meet but Jess denies everything but eventually gives in and tells Pinky everything about the football. Pinky has a “go” at her about “football not being worth the hassle. ” Although Pinky doesn’t think it’s worth the hassle she helps Jess, as there is a chance for her to go to Germany with the team, where there will be a professional woman’s couch there looking for the future woman footballers. Her coach, Joe and Jess get close in a club in Germany, at the moment Jules walks outside and sees them.
Jules had a massive crush on Joe and as Jess and Jules were best friends Jess couldn’t tell her, her feelings for Joe. At home, Jess’s dad sees a picture of Jess’s football team in the news paper and when Jess gets back they are waiting for her. Jess is forbidden to leave the house for weeks until Joe, the football team couch comes round and tells Jess’s mum and dad that they need her in the team, Jess admires him for coming round and facing her parents. Later on it is Pinky’s wedding meanwhile there is a football match on that Jess wants to desperately play in, her dad lets her go for the second half and Tony drives her there.
Jess’s dad comes and watches the match, admiring his daughter’s talent. Jess and Jules go to the USA to play football, Joe promises Jess to wait for her. “Billy Elliot” is about a young boy who grew up in the 1980’s around the time of the strikes, Billy and his family are in a working class struggle, tight on money, set in County Durham near Newcastle. Billy is learning how to box, because it is a male thing to do. One boxing lesson the girls have to come in the hall where the boys do boxing and use the opposite as their hall is being re-decorated.
Billy gets distracted by the girls and has to stay behind, he is mesmerised by the beautiful dancing and every week he ends up watching them. One day Billy’s boxing teacher tells Billy’s dad that he isn’t attending boxing and Billy’s dad stops giving him the 50 pence’s, and as Billy can’t tell his dad about attending ballet he has to stop going. As his dance teacher thinks he can make it as a dance student in a dance school she tells his dad about Billy. Billy’s dad goes mad at him and refuses to let him go dancing as it is a “girls” thing to do. Finally Billy’s dad comes around and lets him go to the dancing auditions.
Billy impresses the judges with him saying that dancing makes him happy, and he gets into the school. There are many similarities in the two films, both about challenging sexism stereotypes and challenging their parent’s beliefs. The differences are that Billy didn’t lie to his dad about it, whereas Jess did. The narrative can be told by just the camera angles and editing, in “Bend it like Beckham” when the house has been decorated for Pinky’s wedding, when the camera is in front of the house and it goes from night time to morning within seconds.
In “Billy Elliot” its when the camera is filming Billy Dancing in the dark with all the shadows, it shows the eeriness, they have edited the sounding to hear the echoes, this surveys a meaning and suggesting that his mum is with him by the darkness. The narrative can be told in music form. In “Billy Elliot,” music has a big impact on the film as Billy is learning ballet, the piano and light instruments are used. In “Bend it like Beckham” music is not such a must have, it is used on and off all the way through.
The music gets faster in “Billy Elliot” when he is dancing out of frustration, “Bend it like Beckham” gets louder and faster music when the football match is getting tenser (when Jess is getting ready to take her penalty). Music in both films has moods; it can be slow and peaceful and then shoot up in a high, screaming music. In “Bend it like Beckham” there is a lot of Indian music to show their culture and they change the mood of the song to the mood of the character, when used. In “Billy Elliot rock music has been used like The Clash and London’s calling.
The narrative can also be told through mise en scene from “Bend it like Beckham” when its Pinky’s engagement and it changes from night to morning within 5 seconds which hurries along the narrative but in a way so you know what’s going on and your not completely lost in the story. In “Billy Elliot” there is a piece of music that plays whenever Billy is talking or thinking about his mum, this suggests that his mum is with him which gives him security. In “Bend it like Beckham” they use music as a mise en scene because in many scenes the music starts playing before we see the picture.
There are also many signs that show that it is in West London. In “Billy Elliot” there are strike posters all around to show that it is around the time of the strikes. The film has many narrow camera shots, this shows that there’s no way out and how small and cramped the place was where Billy lives and how narrow minded the people are that live there are. It is important to vary the way that the narrative is told in a film because it would be very boring to jus watch one person for a good ninety minutes, narratives should have a few things going on at once and told in different ways to keep the viewer interested!
The way that editing is used in the 2 films create tension, and it also moves on the narrative. The importance of mise en scene and music in a film is important because it gives an edge to the film, the music makes it livelier and the mise en scene sets the scene. Directors need to think about the camera angle they use so that they show the scene from a particular point of view, to make a person look more confident or intimidated, for a panning shot or a extreme close-up (ECU).