There are three main aspects of the theme ‘Going it Alone and these are Circumstance, Process and Consequences. “The Black Balloon” represents each of these three aspects through the characters within the film and these are enhanced by the techniques used by the director Ellisa Downs. Circumstance is all about why you are going it alone. It can be a choice to reject the conformist attitudes and values of society or it can be something that has been forced upon you.
Within the first scene of ‘The Black Balloon’ Elissa Downs uses the symbolism of the neighbours watching from behind windows and across the street. This symbolism creates empathy for the protagonist. This shows that Thomas and his family are and have been judged by the modern society due to their difference. The young kids insults within the first scene are an example of colloquial or vernacular language, this accurately reflects the crude nature of some kids today. This shows us that prejudice can be a main cause of being forced to ‘Go it Alone’.
Within the second scene of the film ‘Thomas’ First day of School’ Thomas is wearing boardies contrasted against the other boys who are wearing speedos. It is a metaphor for the already forged division between Thomas and the other boys in his class and acknowledges that he is an outsider. All of these techniques show us that ‘Going it Alone’ is something that can be forced upon us and is not always chosen. * Going it Alone can definitely be detrimental to individuals emotional wellbeing. The experience of going it alone can impact on the values, beliefs and character of an individual.
It may also involve the compromise of values or the loss of significant relationship. * Within the scene ‘By The River’ Downs uses the symbolism of Thomas’ relationship with Jacquie, it is almost like she is a bridge to the outside world and a way to escape his family. Another technique within this scene is the montage of shots within the army base, this shows the growth of understanding Jacquie undergoes and how their relationship grows. ‘Going it Alone has provided a chance for positive personal growth for both Thomas and Jacquie.
These techniques show us that ‘Going it Alone’ can provide us with very positive things like stronger relationships and opportunity for personal growth. Going it Alone can provide physical and emotional distance in order to bring about new understandings, knowledge and skills. These are very positive consequences of ‘Going it Alone’, but there are also very negative consequences. Within the scene of ‘By the River’ Thomas and Jacquie lying on the ground. The framing is symmetrical and emphasizes proximity and intimacy.
This demonstrate the benefits and mutuality of going it alone. Both have gone alone (from family and circumstance) but have gained a positive bond in the process. The rain serves as an additional motif of cleansing to reflect the power of their relationship to help provide a new perspective on the difficulties they have had “going it alone”. These three aspects combine to show the concept of ‘Going it Alone’ in the film the Black Balloon. Ellissa Downs uses common techniques such as camera angles, framing and montage to shape the meaning of the concept of ‘Going it Alone’.
Courtney from Study Moose
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