The film I have watched recently is called “Stand By Me” directed by Rob Reiner and based on a book called “The Body” by Steven King. The purpose of my essay is to illustrate how Rob Reiner showed the characters of Chris and Gordie coming to terms with the adult world. At the opening sequence, the lighting in the long shot suggests sunset and the day being over contributes to the mood, which is sadness. The background is in autumn a sad season that matches adult Gordie’s emotions. The music is moving and slow while we see a long shot of a jeep, this shows where adult Gordie is sitting, and he is alone.
We get a close up of a newspaper to show why adult Gordie is lonely his friend had been killed, “Attorney Christopher Chambers fatally stabbed in restaurant. ” This is a medium shot. Adult Gordie sighs while looking down, we feel sympathy for him. He looks as though he is giving up. The director had two boys on bikes move past the jeep on into the distance was shot from a point of view and this shows that he is remembering when he was that age. The structure of the film is one long flashback and the next shot zooms in from medium to close up. The voice over lets the audience know that he is the one speaking.
There is a close up of the young boy and these shots are matched to show that this is young Gordie. At the start of the film, we see Chris Chambers, Gordie Lechance and Teddy Dushamp in the tree house. The voice over of adult Gordie tells us that Chris’s father has a drinking problem. Chris looks like the leader of the group and acts in control. Chris’s t-shirt is dirty and his fags are up his sleeve, which suggests that he is poor. Gordie comes across as quiet and we do not know much about his character yet. Gordie and Chris are the best friends out of the group and we come to recognise this later in the film.
When Vern tells them about a dead body Gordie puts his comic down and turns off the radio he becomes very interested. The boy’s characters start to develop during the journey such as the incident of the high bridge sequence. “Teddy its 100 feet”. We see Chris as the voice of sense he is sensible but Teddy wants to prove him wrong and his view prevails. Gordie obviously is not certain and there is a close up of him putting his hand on the rails to feel for vibrations. Gordie walks behind Vern to look after him. Gordie is different from the others and again puts his hand on the rails. The director uses a second close up of this.
Gordie is protecting the others and himself. “Train! ” Gordie shouts to tell others. The tension in this scene is frustrating as Vern starts to crawl faster and holds up the others. Gordie is the one who helps him to his feet and starts to run. The boys look more in danger. We have a close up of the train front and it looks mammoth. Gordie pushes Vern out of the way of the train. Not too soon, Chris jokes and they feel better. The boys come to a junkyard owned by Milo as we are told by the voice over of adult Gordie. Teddy imitates the actions of a soldier and this shows he is acting like his father.
There is a two shot of Chris and Gordie, they speak about Teddy’s behaviour, and this shows that they are close friends. The actors have been carefully chosen we know this as Chris is much stronger built than Gordie. “We knew exactly where we were and we knew exactly where we were going”. Gordie goes to the shop; there is a flash back of Gordie in his home with his dead brother Denny. There is a contrast between Denny and Gordie. Denny tries to get Gordie’s achievements recognised by his father but the father is only interested in Denny only. The shopkeeper does not understand why Gordie does not play ball.
He is an example of prejudice. When Gordie gets back to the junkyard, he expects the junkyard dog to be vicious because of stories. “Chopper was my first lesson in the vast difference between myth and reality”. It is an experience for Gordie. Chris pulls Teddy back from hurting the junkyard owner as he speaks about his father. Chris is protecting Teddy from getting hurt and this shows he is very caring. First thing Chris says on the Train Dodge is “Come on Teddy”. Chris is the first to take action to pull Teddy off track. Chris successfully drags him off the track away from danger. I was trying to save your life, man”.
I noticed the train shot of Chris and Gordie together as best friends are. Chris then says, “Skin it”. Chris is the first to make up with Teddy and does not make Teddy look stupid or look as though he has lost his dignity. The character of Chris and Gordie change and Rob Reiner shows this at the campfire. The smoking of the group indicates them trying to be adults. Its Chris who suggests Gordie tells a story. This shows Chris appreciates Gordie’s talents. Gordie gets the audience interested at the beginning by telling the boys about this fat twelve-year-old boy, 180 pounds.
Chris says, “Will you shut up Vern”. He says it gently and firm. Chris is tolerant and watches not to hurt Vern’s feelings. We see how good Gordie’s story is by the reaction of the group. Teddy wants to know more, the story was successful. Chris and Gordie are next in a scene ready to shot anything. This reminds us how good their friendship is. “23. 00 hours. ” This is Teddy thinking he is a soldier using the same language. “Fort is secure”. This means everything is all right. Coyote make noise in the woods. Vern is scared we see this by his movements like a frightened child.
Chris lights a fire again to keep everyone warm he notices Gordie having a bad dream, “Should have been you Gordie”. This shows how damaged Gordie has been by his father’s rejection. The blue lighting makes it a scene from a dream in Gordie’s head. There is a two shot of Chris looking down on Gordie. “I really miss him”. Chris says, “I know”. This conversation between the boys shows understanding. However, Chris knows even though they have not spoke about it. The tables turn and Chris has a cry, “I’m just one of those low life chambers kids”.
The camera are always nearly together of Gordie and Chris. We’ll use you as a raft”. Teddy cracks this joke. Teddy is the comedian. Chris is practical because he used the stick to see how deep the swamp is and in the middle they all fall under. There is a two shot of Chris and Gordie and the director is trying to show their friendship. Gordie is the one who leads the way out of the swamp water. He realises that they have to get on. Chris helps Gordie to get leaches off Gordie’s back. Gordie deals with the fact that a leach has gotten down his pants. “Come on your guys, he’s just fainted”. Chris is sticking up for Gordie. “Im not going back”.
This shows that whatever has happened they still aren’t going to go back. It is Chris who gives orders to check areas for the body. Chris wants to build a stretcher; he is in control of his emotions while there is a long shot if Gordie sitting alone. Gordie has his head down and see his unhappiness. Chris protects his friend. “It should have been me”. Gordie says because he thinks he should have died instead of his brother Denny. Chris says, “Your gonna be a great writer someday. ” Chris is standing in front of Teddy and Vern to show that he is ready for action when Ace and his gang come. Low angle shot to make the bad guys powerful.
Three shot is high angle. “We beat the shit out of you”. These bad guys are aggressive and violent. The odds are stacked against the young boys. “Why don’t you go home and fuck your Mum some more”. The swearing shows violence. Ace with flick knife shows serious tension. Chris has courage in the face of danger. Teddy moves away. The music is used to tension drama. The sound of a gun. We don’t know who’s firing at first. Close up of pair of hands. There is a tilt shot. Following gun down. It’s Gordie. We were confused. Gordie now is protecting Chris. Gordie moves down to Chris. “Suck my fat one”. Gordie is being cheeky.
We see Gordie’s courage he makes Ace perfectly certain that he might kill him. They decide it should be an anonymous phone calls. It was a childish ambition to go there in the first place. To the boys the town seemed different, small. This shows that they had grown up and Chris and Gordie are the last to separate. The voice over tells us that Vern and Teddy never see Chris and Gordie afterwards. Teddy fails ambition for the army and becomes a criminal and does odd jobs, Vern got married and had a few children, and Chris struggled with college courses but became a lawyer but tragically dies trying to help people.
There is a wide-angle shot of Chris walking into distance and disappearing. This is a special effect. Gordie becomes a writer and writes the story of what happened to them. Gordie changes the ending to the story by stressing the importance of his friendship with Chris. “I never have any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone? ” We see a wide-angle shot of the tree house; Gordie and Chris have changed by the experience of the journey. My assessment of the whole film was moving because to see four twelve year old boys grow up so quickly over 2 days was really touching.
I liked how Rob Reiner developed the characters so quickly and made the audience feel sympathy for Gordie and Chris in particular. Gordie and Chris were best friends and I noticed this right from the start. I thought Teddy and Vern as two stupid boys who were really young and didn’t understand much. The acting was brilliant because Vern especially acted like the baby of the group and not only acted babyish but looked like it as well. Chris was more strongly built and this showed he was the leader of the group. The situation of the plot was a clever idea and I enjoyed watching the plot being thawed out.
The message which I got in the film especially at the end was that friends come and go in your life but you never forget them. I related this film to my own experiences and this made the film enjoyable for me. The music the most made the film most enjoyable for me because the director knew exactly when to use sad, tension and excitement in the music and when. My overall opinion of the film was a really good one because the characters, plot, the music, lighting all mixed together and made one great inspirational film.