In Hairspray, directed by Adam Shankman, an important relationship is the mother-daughter relationship of Edna and Tracy Turnblad. The relationship between these characters can be seen to develop from the beginning, in which Edna and Tracy lack any understanding for one another, through Tracy’s convincing Edna to leave the family home and regain her confidence and in the final scene where the pair dance together on the Corny Collins Show.
As the relationship between Edna and Tracy is established, the audience soon sees that the two do not have a well communicated relationship. This is portrayed by the fights and disagreements they have. Edna has overprotective views on Tracy’s dreams, and fears that Tracy will lose her self confidence if she goes and continues on with her dream. Wilbur Turnblad, Tracy’s father, has to reconcile the mother and daughter’s relationship; Edna can’t communicate her feelings and thoughts to Tracy herself. In the film, props are used to express the mental barrier in their relationship. E.g. ironing board, coffee table, door frame, etc.
In the ‘Welcome to the 60s’ scene, the audience can visualise that Tracy and Edna have become closer. After a phone call from Mr Pinky, Tracy makes the first step in overcoming the barrier in their relationship by asking Edna to act as her agent. In order for Edna to be Tracy’s agent, she has to venture outside of the home for the first time in fifteen years. As the pair walk down the street, the audience can see through the use of two person shots, that the two have become closer. Acting as Tracy’s agent and being outside of the house allows Edna to feel closer to her daughter and perhaps understand the world she lives in. In Mr Pinky’s shop, Edna and Tracy have makeovers in celebration of both their closer relationships and the contract signed with Mr Pinky. The two characters are seen in similar costumes and dresses, matching shoes and...
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