21 jump street - Representation

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1. The fact that we see the protagonist on his own in this immediate shot shows us that this particular demographic of teenage boys is represented as independent. Despite…
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  • 1. The fact that we see the protagonist on his own in this immediate shot shows us that this particular demographic of teenage boys is represented as independent. Despite this immediate representation, the audience may start to feel that this particular character is lonely with the consideration that everyone else departed from the school bus in company compared to this character who is alone. As a result, we start to see that there may be a sense of a hierarchical structure within secondary school that we will see later on in the opening sequence. The subtle use of an over the shoulder shot in this scene shows what the character is heading towards. From this we can guess that ahead of him are going to be some problems from the use of camera angle which makes him look a lot smaller and inferior to the school. As a result, we feel sympathy towards the male because from even in this early shot we understand that he will probably be heading towards some social issues at school.
  • 2. In this shot we see the character attempting to interact with other people at school. This represents him as a character who is wanting to improve his life within school and try to make friends. As a result, we as an audience feel as if this is a social group that can be quite brutal and unforgiving. In addition, we feel a sense of helplessness because we are unable to help him. Now we see that he is being ignored by others at school, our sense of helplessness is increased because we have clearly seen that his school life is somewhat lonely. This again represents this social group as very brutal and perhaps unfair. However, this shot may also show us that he is lacking in self-confidence as a result of the brutal reality of secondary school.
  • 3. In this shot we see the reaction of the girl who the protagonist is asking to prom. Therefore we see a contrasting representation in comparison to the representation of the protagonist’s social group. The fact that the girl has a fair amount of make up on implies that she is probably considered as a ‘popular’ at school. As a result, we see the clashing of these two social groups. The representation of this social group shows us that she is extremely judgmental of other social groups. Again showing the brutal reality of secondary school life.
  • 4. Similarly to the previous shot, here we see more examples of judgmental life at secondary school. However, in contrast, these two shots specifically show the amount of power this character has in comparison to the other protagonist. Perhaps one of the clear ways we can identify that this character has power because of his clothing. The fact that the character is wearing a sports jacket immediately tells us that he is a person who will be well respected within school. As a result, we know that his power is much greater than the other protagonist. In addition, the social group is represented as very judgmental and naïve in the fact that they only see sporty people as attention worthy figures. This gives the audience the impression that this film could be very stereo- typical and perhaps predictable. As a result, we may feel as if the film could not be worth watching thus making it an unsuccessful opening sequence through the false representations of social groups.
  • 5. In this final shot we finally see the result of the brutal realities within social groups at secondary school. The clear representations of these slightly different social groups highlight the fact that clashes between these groups will result in extreme emotions like in this shot. The camera angle in this shot shows the location of the setting and the fact that there are students just carrying on with their lives. This shows us that the protagonist is not cared about by any of the other people at school and may signify to us that he is going to meet someone outside of school who is going to be his helper.
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