A Christmas Carol Essay
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Where as in the 2000 version, instead of enjoying the torture that the spirits are putting Scrooge through, we feel some sympathy towards Scrooge, with his deprived background, and no Father figure in life. In the 1951 version, Scrooge visits the coalmines, light houses, the fishermen at sea, his nephew and also want and ignorance with the spirits. Although, in the 2000 version, there are no visits to any of these places. These are replaced by the ‘Cratchits’ in hospital, the O. A. P’s, the single mother, the nephew which still stands the same, the homeless and the pub which is a popular setting for dramas.
By visiting the pub, the hospital and the car park, it is an everyday place, which makes it easier to film there. In both the 2000 and the 1951 version there are many added scenes, because the 2000 version was modern, not many traditional/everyday things are like Victorian everyday things as today, so there are many added scenes, far too many to comment on. Although the 1951 version is in keeping with the original Dickens book, in the film there are quite a few added scenes. At the beginning, Tiny Tim, looking at toys, while his mother orders the bird.
This basically sets the scene of Christmas. Scrooge walks past a blind boy and his dog, the dog pulls the boy out of the way quickly, this is a good scene to show because the public know that Scrooge was a tight-fisted man, even domesticated animals know about Scrooges reputation. Scrooge asks for more bread, this will cost him more so Scrooge declines, this scene, I feel, was the most noticed additional, the bitterness that you felt as Scrooge declined. Scrooge was hungry but he wouldn’t pay for his hunger. As the audience travels with the ‘Ghost of Christmas Past’, more scenes are added.
Scrooge proposes to Alice. Although they are both content and poor, this shows you that money can’t buy you love. Scrooge apprenticed before he became a respectable accountant with a man called Fezziwig, I feel, like Fezziwig stood as a Father figure to Fezziwig. A man tries to get Fezziwig to sell his business. Fezziwig refuses, saying it’s not just about the money but also about preserving a lifetime. The man asks Scrooge what he thinks and he says that he agrees with Fezziwig. The man offers Scrooge a job with double the salary. Scrooge is undecided.
This shows that Scrooge deep down does think about money although, Fezziwig has brought good morals to his work and that money isn’t everything. Scrooge starts to work at the man’s place, where he meets Marley. Scrooge and Marley, together buy Fezziwigs’ business. Scrooge doesn’t talk to Fezziwig. I feel that Scrooge feels embarrassed that he has kind of misplaced Fezziwigs’ trust in a way. An employee of Fezziwig asks Scrooge if he can still work. Scrooge asks him his pay, he replies five shillings, Scrooge says that he can work for four. When Marley was dying, the housekeeper calls for Scrooge to come.
He says it is only quarter-to-five, he will come at seven, when he closes the business. Scrooge gets there just in time and Marley says that it is not too late to right his wrong doings, and to save himself. Marley then dies. This scene, I feel, is quite moving, in a way, because, Marley, in the end, knew that he was doing wrong, so he told Scrooge that he had time to change but he didn’t. ‘The Ghost of Christmas Past’ says that even though Marley was Scrooges’ only friend, he was happy when he received all of his possessions. I feel anger towards Scrooge, no sympathy to him, because his only friend was dead.
Scrooge just cared about the fact that Marley was rich, he cared for Marleys’ money not the person, greed from Scrooge. I found that this added scene, the ‘Ghost of Christmas Present’ said that Scrooge had to find Jesus, there is religion mentioned in this scene unlike the modern 2000 version. Alice is called Bella in the book and also Bella in the modern version. Alice was Scrooges ex-fianci?? e. Alice looking after people in a workhouse, an old woman thanks her for being so nice, Alice us a woman which helps, unlike Scrooge, a man that takes. They are so different.
This scene was added, I suppose to add humour, where, Scrooge asks his housekeeper what day it is. She thinks that he has gone mad. Scrooge gives her a guinea, which is twenty-one shillings for a Christmas present and raises her salary from two shillings to ten. At the Christmas dinner with Scrooge and his nephew, Scrooge asks his nephew and his wife to forgive him. They do, and Scrooge joins in dancing. As before, Scrooge again, walks past the blind boy with the dog. He gives the boy some money, and pats the dog, that now likes him. This is when Scrooge changes from mean to generous; he sees his wrong doings.
These scenes are all ‘in keeping’ with the book and superfluous to requirement. The special effects with these media pieces are very different but you have to take into account that there are a number of years difference between the two pieces and, you have to take into account what would appeal to the audience of that time and the interpretations of that special effect. Special effects from the 1951 version are very basic. Marley’s face on the doorknocker, I feel that this special effect is the most significant to the audience and the most recognised.
It catches your eye and attracts you to the film. The voice over of Marley calling Scrooge as he walks up the stairs, the same thing is repeated when Scrooge is eating gruel. Chains are heard and the door flings open. The spirits, who are bound with chains, try to help a woman with a child. Its too late to right their wrong doings. This somewhat scares the audiences who are only scared with Scrooges’ fright. The spirit appears and floats towards the bed. The bedroom scene of Scrooge and the ghost fades into the scene where Scrooge used to live.
Alice walks through the shadow of Scrooge. This special effect is repeated four times, where the scene fades into an hour-glass in a tunnel, then fades out into the next scene. Pawnbrokers fade into the graveyard scene, and finally, the voice over at the end, which is the epilogue of the book. Special effects from the 2000 version include, a poster of murder on Scrooges’ door, Marley was murdered, it then sets itself on fire, giving the audience some automatic knowledge that Scrooge had something to do with Marley’s death. Marley’s face was on a doorknocker.
Eddie’s dad in the T. V, talking to Eddie, the ‘Ghost of Christmas Past’ breaking out of the T. V. The ‘Ghost of Christmas Present’ is Marley. Marley makes his entrance through the fridge. Another effect is where the final spirit is floating away, Scrooge has to run to keep up with him. These special effects would appeal to today’s audience because it is a modern film, although the 1951 version’s special effects wouldn’t appeal to today’s audience because they were very basic and some were a little boring. This is the opposite of what special effects are meant to do.
It would have been better if we had watched the film in black and white instead of colour because the colour picture made the special effects look basic and used in a way. There are many parts of humour in both the versions, mainly when Scrooge turns from mean to generous, in the 1951 version, where Scrooge dances at the end and when Jo the pawnbroker was mad. This is also humorous. In the modern version, the humour is the same, the change between mean to generous and the way that Scrooge scares people. He suddenly turns nice, everyone is suprised and people start to faint.
This tells us that humour hasn’t changed over the years and the aspects of humour haven’t changed. Music, in both films, play important parts because it sets the scene of Christmas. Carols are played at the beginning. This sets the scene of Christmas. At Scrooges home in the 1951 version, there is a piece of music which is being repeated. A crescendo builds the tension and, when Marley enters, the repetition of suspended minor chords gives the feeling of mystery and an edge to the scene. When Scrooge goes to bed, there is the repetition of music again; that builds up more tension.
When the ‘Ghost of Christmas Past’ enters, ‘Silent Night’ is played, it’s the most popular carol and sentimental to the public, it sets the scene of Christmas. When the hour-glass appears, music is played and repeated. Scrooge, at the end, is singing and dancing with his nephew and his nephew’s wife. The singing and dancing plays out to the end of the film. In the 2000 version, carols are played each time Scrooge enters Christmas Eve again returning from his journey from the spirits. This sets the scene of Christmas.