In the movie “Mean Creek” there are 3 ways the director, Jacob Aaron Estes, has connected the beginning to the end, through the use of particular visual and verbal techniques. He uses the same camera perspective, similar types of music, and through the character himself.
These 3 techniques help convey the theme of revenge. Revenge is a reaction to something that someone has done to you. This can result in positive or negative consequences. It can either be emotional or physical, but either way, they’re both retaliations to satisfy oneself, or to avenge someone else.
Camera perspective is a significant technique used to link the beginning to the end because they’re the same. In the beginning, the scene is shot from George’s camera, and the whole shot is just green, murky water. The end scene is also shot from George’s camera, except this time George is there and he’s doing a monologue. The utilization of using George’s camera showing things from his perspective is how they’re linked. This also shows that the movie is mainly based around him.
Another important technique is music. At the beginning of the movie, the music playing is quite depressing and despondent. This sets the tone for the whole movie. This indicates to the audience that the movie isn’t a happy one, but more a serious, melancholy one. At the end of the movie, while George is talking, the music playing is similar to the music used at the beginning. Sad and doleful. This links the beginning to the end because of the equivalence of sadness. Because the movie starts off sad because of the music, it ends sad, also because of the music. It balances. It’s not one of those movies that starts off sad and has a happy ending. It’s the opposite.
Using the character George to associate the beginning to the end is another technique. The opening scene is shot from George’s camera. If you’ve already seen the movie, you’ll find that because it’s shot from his camera, we assume that we’re seeing the scene through George’s eyes. That this is what he would’ve seen while he was drowning, or just before he died. The end scene is of George talking to the camera. Here, he’s expressing his feelings by saying how people don’t understand him because he sees things different due to his dyslexia. This connects the beginning to the end because of the association to George. First they show the scene through his eyes while he’s drowning, the result of revenge, then at the end when he tries to explain why he acts the way he does, which causes him to beat up Sam, leading to they planning of their revenge on him.
With all these techniques used at once, this allows the director to control how the viewer feels. It’s more significant at the end, because it can be confusing for the opening scene because you don’t know why it’s shot in the water. The only thing that prepares the viewer is the music because it’s sad. At the end, the director intends to make the viewer empathize for George. To feel sympathetic towards the situation to how they misjudged him. This all relates to the theme revenge because it was that one main event that had a big impact on the outcome of the movie.