Essay Commentary on the Movie "Rebel Without a Cause"

Essay Commentary on the Movie "Rebel Without a Cause"

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A simple movie about a boy not fitting into society? There is so much more. “Rebel Without A Cause” directed by Nicholas Ray has a far deeper meaning to the plot than what most people understand after first watching it. The key to understanding this meaning is by paying attention to each component of the film. While components such as sound further the movie, the plot would not nearly be as developed without the camera placement, along with the character placement; It gives a deep insight to the audience about a specific character’s inner feelings, usually hinting at who is in control of the situation at hand.
In every situation, there are always certain characters in control, and it is shown by the character placement in a scene. This placement of characters reveals who is in a submissive attitude at this point in their life, and who remains calm and has to be the one dominating the conversation. This deliberate placement of characters by Nicholas Ray is shown when Judy is at the police station. She is talking to who must be some sort of detective or police officer. In this scene, Judy is terribly confused and is suffering from it, as a result of her father. She loves him and she says that he hates everything about her, including her friends and her appearance. It is evident that in this scene, Judy is clearly not the one in control. She is a mess, crying and sharing everything about her poor relationship with her father. While, the detective is the one that is asking the questions and trying to aid Judy, causing him to be the one in control. The placement of characters reflects this difference in control of the characters: Judy is sitting in the corner of the room and is just completely in pain. While the detectiv...


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...ing down to a low level, conveyed through the cameras, help show the audience that what Jim is doing is not what he should do, and he is only doing it because of a lack of role models.
For Nicholas Ray to put so much thought and effort into the placement of the characters, and the camera, it allows for a much more enjoyable experience for the careful viewer. Many people would just overlook some of the things he is doing with the camera but if you are a part of the people that do not, your understanding for the movie and characters increases colossally. And this is only one aspect of the movie, in which Nicholas Ray put so much care towards. He put the same amount of care into the other aspects of the movie, such as the sounds and the plot. He took a movie with a good plot and made it amazing, by putting great care towards every little aspect of the movie.

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