Billy Elliot, a British film, directed by Stephen Daldry that was released in 2000 that shows the opportunity of new possibilities opening up, determination, family support and individual growth. One related text that shows other kinds of transition into new worlds is Christina Aguilera’s song called ‘Soar’. The powerful vocals and the lyrics that are emotionally charged make you think ‘Soar’ is an inspirational song full of meaning. Stephen Daldry’s drama-filled, northern England set film deals with a variety of social issues, poverty being the worst. Billy, the protagonist, is a young boy who has grown up in a poor community and a world of rules and traditions, one of these traditions being that of boxing. Gary, Billy’s father and Jamie, Billy’s brother are hugely critical of Billy’s boxing and encourage him strongly. Billy appears not so warming to the idea. During his boxing lesson, Billy discovers a passion towards ballet dancing. Contrast is then used by the camera panning many pairs of delicate ballet participant’s slippers before settling on Billy wearing his boxing gloves. This camera shot reinforces the idea of Billy being different and highlights his preparedness to stand out and take risks against both his father and brother. Billy realises that dancing will open up many different paths in his life; it’s just a case of dealing with the frustration and rage that his father is going through with work commitments. To show the protagonists determination to succeed, Daldry uses a variety of film techniques to emphasise Billy’s strength of character and the dissatisfaction he feels when people try to stop him making his transition. The use of doors is a reoccurring symbol representing new worlds or barriers stoping Billy’s positive paths in life that are used throughout the film. Billy’s cautious approach to entering the ballet class doors symbolises a new world opening up that can change his life forever. The determination Billy shows is one of the key elements involved in his last transition into a different world knowing that his father would not allow him to follow ballet; he attends lessons in secret and extensively practices in his bedroom or wherever he can find privacy. The door design is again important with Billy’s father physically holding him back from pursuing his pathway into a new world. Many of these doors are shut and Billy must fight to break these barriers down. Dance becomes a mean of escape of his surroundings and a way out of his closed community. Billy is determined to go against the traditions of his family and escape into a bigger and better world that will be a positive for him. Determination is also used through influential and emotional language in Christina Aguilera’s song ‘Soar’ which shows and represents the themes of ‘into the world’. The listener feels encouraged to go into the world and finally be themselves after listening to the heart-felt and honest lyrics. The song gives a light to the listener, whichever position they are in personally, either that being physically, psychologically or mentally and it reminds them that they can achieve anything. This is reflective in Aguilera, who grew up in an abusive environment and managed to escape the negativity of that world and enter a much more positive environment. This meaningful and explosive song emphasises that determination is vital in making an individual’s transition into a wider world of growth and change. This text links in with the idea of Billy’s determination ‘I don’t want a childhood; I want to be a ballet dancer’. This shows Billy’s sacrificial act in order to achieve his goal.
The urgency for family support is displayed in Billy Elliot. As determined as Billy is to succeed in ballet, he can only proceed so far along on his chosen path without the support of his family. Jackie, his father has trouble expressing what is wrong with boys doing ballet and decides to verbally criticise the mixture of ballet and males. ‘Lads do football or boxing or wresting. Not bloody ballet’. Debbie, Billy’s young ballet partner, tries to convinve Billy that ‘plenty of men do ballet’, and that outside their judgemental and traditional community is a much larger world, a world where it is acceptable for males to do ballet. This links bank to Aguilera’s song when she sings’ what are you waiting for, spread your wings and soar’. This line is repeated throughout the song to emphasise the listerner to go into the world and make something of themselves the way Debbie is trying to convince Billy to transition. The theme of ‘Into The World’ is shown through ‘Soars’ song lyrics, with how the singer uses her voice to emphasise the meaning in the song and the singers’ own persona; experience which relate to the song as well as the listeners experience as well. During the chorus, it says “don’t be scared to fly alone, find a path that is your own”, which reperesents the metaphor of choosing a path, something new away from everyone else and taking a journey, which is what the song is trying to communicate that growth and transition is a major issue into a new world. Verse two uses examples of people trying to fit in, by doing whatever it is to feel involved and we see this when Billy tries to fit in by doing something he doesn’t like which is boxing.
A close study of Billy Elliot and the related text ‘Soar’ by Christina Aguilera shows us that there are many key element in making a successful transition into an unfamiliar or adult world. It is through using techniwues such as symbolism and imagery that we are able to get a clear indication of the issues and themes of individual growth, determination and family support. When there is an oppurtiunity to move ‘into the world’, an individual need both determination and family support to be able to take advantage of that opportunity that is at their disposal. The song gives a strong representation of ‘Into the World’ by showing how the song gives light to the listener, whichever position they are in individually, it remind them that they can achieve anything.