In the Name of the Father -Gerry Conlon

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In visual texts, characters are developed through aspects such as set, props, positioning and movement of actors, costume / make-up, framing, lighting, camera techniques, and sound. Analyse how a character is developed in a visual text you have studied.

Often a visual text conveys a message about a character through various filmic techniques. This is certainly true in the film “In The Name of the Father”. This story is mainly about a young man who is arrested for a crime he did not commit and how a relationship between father and son blooms amidst the tragedy. The main character, Gerry Conlon, is first portrayed to the viewer as an unruly rebel but is later developed into a more docile and compliant character. The director, Jim Sheridon, uses filmic techniques such as costume design and make-up, dialogue and extended metaphors to convey the development of Gerry as a character.

The first time the viewer sees Gerry Conlon, he is in his baggy, faded jeans and messy long hair stealing lead from a rooftop. There is certainly no doubt that Gerry is portrayed to the viewer as a rebellious character and one who is associated with negatively. The use of costume design and general make-up of the character allows Gerry to be seen in such a way. The baggy jeans and uncut hair gives the viewer the correct impression that Gerry does not have respect for his appearance and undoubtedly does not care about what others think about him. However, towards the end of the film, the viewer sees Gerry in a completely different light. His hair is pulled back and neatly combed; showing that he now takes care of his appearance. His change is also seen when his lawyer asks him if he is scared of the court he replies “…I just don’t want to be humiliated again”. This shows that Gerry now also cares about what other people think about him. Jim Sheridon portrays Gerry’s dramatic change from the boisterous character that he was to a compliant character is excellently shown through the...
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