21 Communication Analysis

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  • Topic: Communication, Card counting, Blackjack
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  • Published : October 17, 2012
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MOVIE ANALYSIS FINAL
Sonja Katzenberger
Rasmussen College

Author Note:
This research is being submitted on Sep, 14 2012 for Intro to Communications: G141

The movie 21 stars a young student Ben Campbell who wants to go to Harvard Med to become a doctor but he cannot afford the $300,000 for tuition. He then is introduced to a card counting group who solve the means the Ben’s financial situation. Ben joins the secret team of card counters on weekend trips to Vegas where they use skills of nonverbal communication by using a system of codes, rules, hand signals and gestures. (DeVito, 2009).This movie provides good examples of nonverbal communication with facial expressions and hand gestures. It also provides good examples of the stages of relational development in Ben’s relationships with his team members, especially between Jill Taylor and Professor Rosa. Now let's take a deeper look at both communication elements. The first time the element of facial expressions and gestures came around was when the team taught Ben emblems that they use to communicate and what each emblem meant. Emblems are substitutes for words; they are body movements that have specific verbal translations. (DeVito, 2009) Folded arms behind the back meant “the table is hot”, a touch to the eye meant “we need to talk”, a hand to the forehead meant “the deck is cooling” and a hand waved through hair meant “get out NOW!” Once Ben learned all the signs and code words he was ready to take what he learned to Vegas. This is where these gestures came into play; Ben would walk into the Blackjack area, give eye contact to one of his team members already sitting at the table while he or she puts his or her arms behind the back to inform Ben the Table was hot. Ben would then sit down at that table and the team member would use one of the code words in a sentence to specify the card count. Keeping count, Ben kept winning and winning but when his team member put his or her hand to the forehead...
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