The School of Rock

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During the course of the film, School of Rock, the main character, Dewey Finn, manages to become a successful teacher. Discuss

School of Rock examines the farcical situation that develops when failed rock guitarist, Dewey Finn, becomes a substitute teacher at the prestigious prep school, Horace Green. Dewey lands the job by pretending to be Ned Schneebly, his flatmate and best friend. We expect him to fail miserably but despite some setbacks, Dewey manages turn himself into a caring and inspiring teacher. When Dewey first arrives at Horace Green, he is clearly unfit for teaching. Things change, however, when Dewey overhears the students’ music class and realises that they could help him win ‘Battle of the Bands’. He invents a class project, ‘Rock Band’, and assigns tasks for all of the students. At first Dewey’s teaching style is very teacher-centred, but as he bonds with the students they start to take ownership of the project. We see some of Dewey’s emerging skill as he brings out the best in students who seem to lack confidence, in particular, Zack, Lawrence and Tomika. After some ups and downs the band plays a great show and the approval of the audience affirm that Dewey has become a legitimate and successful teacher.

When we first meet Dewey Finn we quickly recognise him as a try-hard loser. He is on stage playing guitar and clearly digging it. However, his comical, exaggerated, self-indulgent stage antics are not popular with the audience or the rest of the band and he experiences the ultimate humiliation when his stage dive lands him flat on his face; the audience having parted to avoid his considerable bulk. Things get worse for Dewey when he fronts up late to a band rehearsal the next day to discover he’s been ‘fired’. Desperate for ‘cash’ to repay Ned for covering his ‘share of the rent’, Dewey is forced to consider selling one of his guitars, despite sprouting the ridiculous line, ‘Would you tell Picasso to sell his guitars?’ When this also falls...
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