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The pet store is a metaphor for the lives of these two brothers. The Motorcycle Boy feels the fish are angry because they are trapped in the fish tank, he says if they were in the river they would not fight. To him Rusty James is the fish and if he got out of their town he would realize that there is something more in life.
The scene starts with a dissolve of the clouds and a sign the says "Pet Store.
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When the two brothers are looking at the fish it is somber, in the way the speech is projected in such a low manner. The elder also tends to look quite somber, he relates to the fish and it makes him think about the life for himself and his brother so he becomes depressed. However, since both brothers are so enthralled with the fish it tends to be a light-hearted scene. When Rusty James listens to his brother about the fish let alone anything he finds it all interesting and he is happy to hear anything he has to say. Rusty James does look and sound quite confused when his brother is talking to him, he continuously scratches his head and also has a dumbfounded look on his face. The lighting does not change much in this scene however the natural lighting that is throughout the whole movie almost makes this movie what it is.
For the majority of the scene the camera is on the opposite side of the fish tanks, and even when it is not the scene always maintains an objective point of view. It is obvious that the camera is in an objective point of view because it is on the opposite side of the fish tank or it is directly in the face of Rusty James, the Motorcycle Boy or the officer. The objective angle across from the fish tank is exceptionally effective because it gives the viewer a chance to see the faces of the two brothers when the elder is explaining and the younger is trying to comprehend. The objective point of view adds to the way the viewer sees the way Rusty James feels about his brother.
As said before this scene says a lot about the intelligence level of Rusty James and also how much he looks up to his brother. As far as the Motorcycle boy is concerned this scene exemplifies how much he cares about his brother even though he is not able to show it. Even though Rusty James has such a hard time comprehending what his brother is taking about he still pays such close attention and does everything he can to understand what he is saying. He even tries to make comments that will add to the conversation. The Motorcycle Boy shows that he cares about his brother by the use of his metaphor of getting the fish out of the pet store compared to getting his brother out of town. Even though Rusty James may not be able to link these ideas together, the fact of him caring about his brother is brought out.
This film is full of scenes that are done beautifully, and there are many that could have been analyzed. However, noticing the metaphor of the fish to the two brothers it seemed that this would be a perfect scene to analyze. Most of the other scenes all contained the film elements that would allow for a wonderful analysis, however they did not always have the deeper meaning tied in. As far as the film elements this scene showed them as well as any other scene, with a beautiful example of the natural light used throughout the film. This is so very important to the overall meaning of the film because the title is explained. The Motorcycle Boy tells Rusty James that the fish are "rumble fish," and he thinks that is the fish were put in the river they would not fight anymore. He is explaining that people just like the fish would not fight so much if they had space, and this is the message that Coppola was trying to convey in creating this film.