The film Billy Elliot is a British drama film which had premiere in 2000. The film is written and directed by Stephen Daldry. The author Melvin Burgess wrote the novelization of the film in 2001, and the story was adapted for the theatres in London in 2005 as Billy Elliot the Musical and productions in the USA and Australia soon followed. Actors and actresses taking part in the film are among others Jamie Bell, as Billy Elliot, Gary Lewis, as Jackie Elliot, and Julie Walters, as Georgia Wilkinson.
The film addresses the struggle of being accepted for one’s own decisions, homosexuality, the mine workers in Northern England’s fight for better wages and improved working conditions, and the difficulty of losing someone you love and still being able to function after. Even though all the secondary themes mention above are included in the film, the main focus is sat on Billy Elliot’s great effort to be acknowledged for his choice of path, as he decides to forsake boxing and become an aspiring ballet dancer.
The film is sat during the UK miners’ strike in 1984 and 1985 to a slightly unorthodox family, consisting of Billy, the youngest son, his father, Jackie, who is, despite is harshness, a loving and devoted father, Billy’s brother, Tony, who is rather rebellious, but who knows when his responsible side needs to shine through to help his family, and his slightly senile, but still very adorable old grandmother.
The family live in a typical coal mining community in the fictional town of Everington in the Durham County in North East England. They are surrounded by other coal mining families, which are working just as hard as Billy’s family to make ends meet in the middle of the strike, which are compelling people to stay away from work. The community demonstrate a lot of distrust and disgracefulness towards Billy’s family when Billy’s ballet dancing come to be known, and after that the family has to deal with both conflicts within the family and in interaction with other people, in addition to their money problems.
In the film we meet Billy Elliot, the main character, who is the son of the mine worker Jackie Elliot. Their household is filled with conflict, a gloomy atmosphere and a feeling of bewilderment; a feeling which is strengthened by the people in the community around them, who run them down because of Billy’s choice. Both Billy and his father go through a massive change of heart through out the film, which affect their relationship a great deal. Billy works hard to become a better dancer, with the vital help of his strict, but mother-like, ballet teacher, and all his time is spent exercising, in spite of the fact that his family refuses him to continue when they first find out. On the other hand, when Jackie finally sees his son dance for the first time, he is touched and astonished, and puts all his energy into raising enough money for Billy to be able to go to the Royal Ballet School, and he succeeds.
The camera usage is important for the flow of the film and it was utilized in many different angels to get the desired effect. In some scenes you could, for example, see the picture close-up, which gives us a feeling of presence and of being part of the action which are unfolding on the screen. This also contributes to the intensity and heart-warming feeling of the film, which you can not help being affected by.
The music can take a great deal of credit for the outcome of the film, with its vibrant tones and charming rhythms of 80s rock music. In addition to the music, which contributes to the intensity and passion in the film, the use of colours is also vital. The character’s lives are mostly filled with dimness, and their houses and surroundings are dark and gloomy, which gives us a feeling of a community filled with misery and depression. On the contrary, when everything works out for the characters their existence suddenly turns bright and colourful, and we are left with a feeling of calm and serenity.
The film is a perfect mixture of humour and drama all held together by great performances from both skilled and inexperienced actors and actresses. It lasts for two hours, and it all builds up to a breathtaking and touching final scene with Billy’s triumphant performance about 15 years after the main events of the film, which will give you goosebumps all over. This film will touch your heart in every possible way. You will leave the cinema wanting to jump up and down clapping you hands with joy while you wipe your eye of tears of happiness. A feeling of cheerfulness and the comprehension that anything is possible if you are willing to work hard and stand your ground will fill your heart and you will feel refreshed and enlightened! A success!