There are many different challenges that Stanley Yelnats (the main character) from the bestselling novel Holes written by Louis Sachar has to over come. Stanley was first seen in the movie when a tilted shot of shoes hit him in the head and he fell on the ground portraying he was weak and a bit stupid. Stanley’s personality was also displayed when his mum was so shocked when the police came around to their house telling them Stanley had stolens, this shows that Stanley had never commited a crime before and wasn’t usually a trouble maker.
The movie directed by Andrew Davis portrays everything the book does and it shows nearly all the insight into Stanley’s life that author describes in the book. There are many challenges but the main one is breaking the ‘curse’ that Stanley’s family has been stuck in for more than 100 years. This challenge shows many significant themes in this book like friendship, determination and fate. The main dispute for Stanley was breaking his family curse. Although he didn’t know if it was even real and that he had broken it , it was clear for the audience watching the movie that he had.
The curse was put on his family more than 100 years ago when the first Yelnats, Elya Yelnats went to a fortune teller called Madame Zeroni. She made him a deal that he could have one of her small pigs if he carried Madame Zeroni up the mountain when he was done making the pig nice and fat so he could give it to the father of the girl of his dreams. When he noticed that the girl really was stupid like Madame Zeroni warmed him he decided to move from Lativia to America. However he forgot to carry Madame Zeroni up the mountain so she put a curse on his family forever.
This was portrayed by a dissolve of Madame Zeroni repeating that she will put a curse on his family to Elya leaving Lativia. The low angle of Madame Zeroni’s face made it obvious that she was not kidding and very serious about the curse. When Stanely carried Hectoria Zeroni (a descendant of Madame Zeroni) up “God’s Thumb” which was also portrayed with a low angle making it look very commodious, he broke the family curse. This challenge portrayed many key ideas and themes and one of them was friendship.
Zero (Hector Zeroni) and Stanley didn’t know eachother at all but due to them both being the ‘outcasts’ of the group they started to get to know eachother and Stanley started to teach Zero how to read and Zero helped dig Stanley holes so he wasn’t so tired and could teach him. These lessons however were then stopped by the Warden, who was introduced by a high angle on her boots which already made her look threating as you could compare it to some movies where the thief or cowboy’s boots got introduced before their face which usually portrayed they were a significant character that usually was there to cause harm.
However this didn’t stop Zero and Stanley’s friendship growing, when Zero ran away form the camp as he had enough of it Stanley had to go and rescue his only close friend he had at the camp. This shows Stanley’s friendly love for Zero portrayed by the dissolving of Stanley walking through the dessert and than of the sun showing how hot it was. The soundtrack of mysterious music kept you guessing to see if Stanley would end up finding Zero or not. The orange overalls that all the boys at Camp Greenlake wore made Zero recognizable in the dessert.
The audience knew that when the two boys rejoiced both of them were very content due to the soundtrack turning from mysterious to faster more lively music. Another key idea that the challenge portrayed was change. Change for Stanley, his family and Hector Zeroni. There were many unanswered questions that produced tension, secrecy through the entire movie but these questions were all answered when Stanley broke the curse. There was quite a journey to break the curse for Stanley and during this period his character changed dramatically.
He used to a gullable, weak , little boy that couldn’t stand up for himself. But he turned into a strong, smart young adult that could even save someone’s life. His weak side was displayed through a high angle of Stanley searching for a camera in the shower, that he got told the Warden of the Camp had installed. This shows how gullable he was and believed everything the other boys in his hut said. As well as giving his findings in a hole to another boy who got a free day off as the Warden though he found it not Stanley. However when he was in the middle of the dessert. He saw “God’s Thumb” and took iniative.
When Hector was to weak he carried him up and saved his life as he found water which the boys definitely needed as they were tired and dehydrated. When Stanley broke the curse it changed many other things mostly for his life and family. His dad finally created a way to make sweaty feet/shoes not smell and Stanley found his treasure that was buried for more than 100 years by Kissing Kate Barlow. This changed his entire lifestyle and he gave half of his treasure to Hector who used that to hire private investigastors and find his mum who he haden’t seen for more than 4 years.
As you can see the main challenge definitely portrays some key ideas and themes. It displays the friendship betweeen Stanley Yelanats and Hector Zeroni which is definitely one of the most important friendship. Furthermore it explains how Stanley, Hector and both of their families changed. Stanleys personality changed showed everyone how much you can change due to your circumstances and enviroment around you. He teaches everyone a good lesson and I would definitly recommend this to any person my age.
Courtney from Study Moose
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