Billy Elliot

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Which character changes the most? Discuss

Billy Elliot, directed by Stephen Daldry is a film set in County Durham, England during the Miner’s Strike in 1984. The theme change is portrayed in a range of different ways and the characters who are able to exhibit this are Jacky, Tony and Billy. They face many glitches which illustrate their individual journey in the film that are impacted by the strikes.

Jacky Elliot is a miner on strike who is irritated because he is unable to bring money to his home and support his son’s passion for dance. “All right for your Nana, for girls. No, not for lads, Billy. Lads do football... or boxing... or wrestling. Not friggin' ballet.”  When Jacky finds out that Billy is dancing instead of boxing, he is disappointed because his son has chosen ballet shoes over boxing gloves. This indicates that Jackie has a powerful and traditional value for male roles in society and dancing is not a manly pursuit, certainly not for a miner's son. When Billy proves to Jacky that he can dance in the gym where Michael is also visible on Christmas Day, Jacky immediately goes to Mrs Wilkinson to find out the costs to go to London. This is then followed by the selling of his wife’s jewellery which is evident in scene 13 and allows the audience to see change in Jacky’s attitude from an aggressive into a supportive and loving father who wants the best for his son. These scenes has helped developed Jacky’s character and let the audience to realise and understand that Jacky has moved on from the grief of his wife’s death and is now able to focus as the man of his family.

Another character who is able to develop in the film is Tony. He is a proud and energetic miner working at the coal mine with his father and usually acts without thinking. “Have you been playing my records you little twat?” This scene is when Billy listens to music and Tony yells at him for using one of his properties. Tony must’ve acted this way because of his mother’s passion...
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