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A dumpy middle aged man sits in front of a class of fifth-graders at the most prestigious private school in the area. The man, an aspiring rock star named Dewey Finn, is impersonating a substitute teacher at Horace Green Elementary School. Having learned of their musical talents, Dewey sees this chance to group the ten-year olds as the perfect backing band, for his self-proclaimed musical genius. He teaches the class about rock theory and history in an effort to prepare his new group for a performance at a “Battle of the bands” contest.
However, Dewey’s intentions in becoming a teacher at Horace Green are certainly not noble. Barely able to pay his rent as an unemployed musician, Dewey views the chance of becoming a substitute teacher as a godsend and takes the job purely out of self-interest. It’s crammed full of graceful tracking shots and crafty set pieces, a pleasant change from the sitcom-level hackwork that afflicts most studio comedies. Although the storyline wends its way along a predictable path, writer Mike White and director Richard Linklater find a great deal of warmth and humour in the material.
Dewey’s utter obsession with rock music and rock history is reflected in the fact that he leads the band members in a prayer to the “god of rock” before a concert, and screams in frustration – “What have they been teaching you kids at this school? ” when he finds out his pupils have never been educated in the basics of Hendricks, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Dewey is so preposterously well-meaning and good-natured, that the audience cannot help but root for him and his students The director also includes many great angle shots.
Firstly, he uses a close up over Dewey while sleeping in bed, exposing his gormless expression. Also, a panning shot is used which shows a view of the whole class while he teaches. Both of these shots give the film a comical and lackadaisical theme. To give a comical impression a great deal of slang is used by the students, like when they yell ‘Shut the hell up, Schneebly’, to their teacher, and also when Dewey explains ‘But, you can’t just say it, man. You’ve gotta feel it in you’re blood and guts!
‘ showing his childish manner, and immaturity. This language allows the film to appeal to a wide audience, as it makes the reader connect with modern day school speech. However, to give a contrast of language, there is also very formal ‘proper’ English which is used by the headmistress, Miss Mullins (Joan Custack), causing the slang to stand out even more. Jeffrey C. Zoerner states that, ‘The timing is horrible, his outbursts forced, his physical “comedy” lacking, and his delivery extremely unfunny. What a disappointment.
I found that this review completely understated the film and therefore also Black, as I feel it contained a great amount of comedy, and showed off Black’s energetic and wild acting in all the best ways. In many ways, this film can be compared to The Sound of Music, except for the different styles of language, and the more comical theme in School of Rock. Both films include the lead actor teaching children about music. In the sound of music, Maria who is a young laid back nurse teaches the Von Trap children how to sing, causing them to gain a passion for music.
This has a large comparison to the School of Rock, as Dewey teaches children about rock music, which they have never experienced before, and gives them a new passion. To top off all the great aspects of this film, it ends with a heart warming response from the children after Black taught the wonders of Rock to them. Therefore, I can honestly say this one of the funniest, yes comforting films that I have had the pleasure of watching in a long while. It is polished without being over worked, and Jack Blacks brilliance is magnified by a cast of Kids that are incredibly talented.
The story line works and, whilst it is exaggerated, you still feel for Black’s character and want him to succeed, even though he has an over-ego, and an over-weight musician. Over all, this is a great film, had a fantastic score and is brilliantly funny. An absolute must have! Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.