An important idea in the film Mean Creek directed by Jacob Aaron Estes is the coming of age. The idea is conveyed through the verbal features of music and dialogue and the visual features of lighting. Through the use of these techniques we are able to understand the ideas much more clearly.
In the movie Mean Creek, the theme of the coming of age is explored right through the film whereby the characters mature drastically as they are introduced to responsibility, love as well as their loss of innocence. For example before Sam had become involved in the revenge plan he was carefree, happy and innocent, however after the death of George, Sam had changed as he had gained responsibility, had been exposed to negative influences such as drugs and alcohol as well as lost his innocence. This shows how the theme of the coming of age plays an important part in the movie Mean Creek to help highlight the impact that such exposure and experiences have on the maturing of today’s teens.
The theme of the coming of age is conveyed through the verbal technique of music whereby the use of this feature has helped highlight and contrast the major changes that the characters had experienced through out the film. For example in the movie Mean Creek the use of the verbal feature of music before the coming of age emphasized the idea of the characters being noisy, playful and full of life as the background music was loud, fast and teenage like. However after the death of George when the characters had been through the coming of age, the music was quite slow and tense with it turned down showing how the mood of the characters was down and stressed as they had lost their innocence and were introduced to a lot of responsibility. Evidently, the use of the verbal feature of music contrasting before and after the death of George had made the theme of the coming of age much easier to understand.
The idea of the coming of age is also shown through the visual technique of lighting whereby the use of this feature helped show the radical changes of mood that take place as the characters mature during the film. For example in Mean Creek the visual feature of lighting has helped show the mood and feelings of the characters where before the death of George when the characters were innocent and had not been introduced to responsibility the light is spread all around the setting (room) in a goldy orangey bright tone of colour that helped illustrate the childish, joyful atmosphere of happiness among the characters. However after the death of George, the lighting is focussed in one corner of the room with the rest of the room dark and shadey in a grey tone of colour showing how serious, gloomy and mature the characters had been. Hence the use of this visual feature of lighting had clearly made the audience better understand and recognise the changes in the coming of age caused by their loss of innocence and responsibility obtained from Georges tragic death.
Another verbal technique that helped explore the theme of the coming of age would be the use of dialogue whereby the use of this feature had helped enhance the audiences understanding of the vast changes that had been developed by each character as a result of Georges death. For example in the start of the film Mean Creek, the dialogue of Millie was quite girly, soft and childish, however as the plot ran on after the death of George, Millie had changed her dialogue to a much serious, mature yet rough type of language whereby her exposure to older teens such as Marty had given her negative influences that involved the use of foul language after Georges death, with her dialogues evolving to have lost its playful girly touch. As a result it is clear that the use of the verbal feature of dialogue has made a huge impact in developing the theme of the coming of age to be more recognisable as well as shown to have played a significant part in the entire movie of Mean Creek.
Therefore in the movie Mean Creek, directed by Jacob Aaron Estes, it is important that the theme of the coming of age is conveyed through the verbal features of music and dialogue and the visual feature of lighting to enable a better understanding of this particular idea of the film and also enhance the idea of relativity that this movie has towards today's society in a clearer manner.