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How Film Techniques Portrays Adversity in the Movie ‘The Blind Side’

Film is an audio-visual medium that uses images and sounds to create meaning out of anarrative. In the movie ‘The Blind Side‟ the main character Michael Oher faces a lot of adversities which is relayed to the audience by using various techniques of filming. In life we can‟t choose our family, situation, or environment that we are born into. Some of us are luckier than others. One can be born in a wealthy family or a poor family. People are who are born into difficult situations sometimes accept t to stay with their prevalent circumstance, like Michael. He faces a lot of adversities in his life, which is revealed in the movie using various filming techniques. These are discussed and analysed. Different camera shots are used in this movie to show Michael‟s life in the slums and then the transformation of his life later in the wealthy adoptive family. ‘The Blind Side‟ is based on a true story about how NFL player for the Ravens, Michael, an African American boy, born in an unstable environment becomes homeless due to his mothers drug abuse and the communities exposure to violence. A juxtaposition of close- ups, long shots, mid shots and full shots depict the surroundings of Michael‟s rough neighbourhood. These shot let the audience familiarise and get a feel of Michael‟s violent world. Michael has to live with a lot of sibling‟s from different fathers. Most of the kids in the neighbourhood deal in drugs, making the place a very unsafe environment to grow up in. Sadness and despair is seen on Michael‟s face from the close-up shots. These help in conveying the emotions of the actors to the viewers. Common view from the public is that kids from Michael‟s neighbourhood drop out of schools,sell drugs, steal and rob from other people, join gangs, beat people up, break laws, carry guns, and even kill people. Notions such as these are shown through camera techniques such as panning and tracking shots, where groups of Afro-American youngsters are seen hanging out, basically doing nothing. For instance, the looks and the expressions, full of anger and lust I seen on the gangsters faces when Mrs. Tuohy goes in their vicinity.

Mrs. Tuohy faces hardship as well because adopting a homeless African American is not viewed as the “right” way to act by her social group and the wider white society. One of her friends hinted at the fact that Michael would rape her daughter stating, “aren’t you afraid for your daughter with him sleeping there?” She faces this adversity with boldness and

„the blind side. especially his mother. telling him to close his eyes when someone was getting hurt. dialogue and the efficient delivery provides a smooth flow of the narrative. A well. Tim McGraw (“Friday Night Lights”).determination. Oscar winner Kathy Bates (“Misery”) face hardships also by deciding what they think is good. The music in the movie emphasises the moods of the characters and the situations around them. For example.Americans‟ see the whites as being selfish and un-caring. Close-ups of Michael‟s face and hands reveal his feelings. he came back from foster care. For example. important. Through the conversations the viewers cansee that the whites see the coloured people as being trouble. and not being judgmental. Similarly. and praiseworthy. when Michael is seen in his mother‟s street and when he is seen outside the Tuohy residence. Excellent choice of actors and brilliant acting adds to the appeal of this movie. so has to mentally prepare himself to adopt to the lifestyle of the upper class whites. rough and uneducated coloured class. Tuohy. so often. Michael walking in the rain. The audience has to be sure what they are seeing. expressions and his state of being. The characters‟ of Sandra Bullock (“The Proposal”). whilst the African. appropriate lighting techniques are used to show particular moods and atmosphere in the movie. when Michael goes through hardships. This irony (preconception was that only whites dominated blacks) is portrayed through the guy who seems to be in charge of the youngsters in Michael‟s former community. Through characterisation. the audience sees that there is subordination and power hierarchy even within Michael‟s community. With the help of the Tuohy family. low illumination conveys sadder moments in the movie. interwoven storyline relates Michael‟s dilemma when most of the teachers of his new school judged him on his past and automatically assumed that he would not make it academically. For example. Bird’s eye angle of the camera establishes the scenes where the audience has to be guided in particular places. Michael had never imagined to leave his past. This signified and symbolised that Michael had shut the nastiness out of his life. From such body language the audience senses that his mother means a lot to him. Michael breaks free from the traditional stereotype of the poor. to make the audience comfortable with her views and presence. They take Michael in and giving . Eye-level camera angles are mostly used with Mrs.‟ The well crafted screenplay. his uneasiness can be seen from the agitated motion of his hands. Michael gets culture shocked. Often times his mum tried to hide bad things from him.

They provide clothes for him and even legally adopt him. going against the views of their close circle of friends and society. A combination of filming techniques which utilises varying methods such camera shots. They also attempt to persuade people by telling their circle of friends that Michael is really a good person. .him food and shelter and get him educated and tutored. The Tuohy‟s experience some tough challenges also by adopting Michael. Brilliant acting. superb dialogue delivery and terrific music shows the determination and struggle of the Tuoys‟ and Michael to overcome their adversities. camera angles . Michael proves everyone wrong by his achievement in school and his skills in football. camera movement and lighting is brought together under the direction of John Lee Hancock providing excellent cinematography in the movie „The Blind Side‟.