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Independent Project

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Dangerous Minds is a drama film that was written and directed by John N. Smith, but was produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer in the year 1995. The story line is based on the experiences and encounters of a high school teacher, who was an ex-marine in the U.S. The students in the school are from different backgrounds and so bringing all their minds together to achieve success or excellence becomes a challenge. During the release of the film, the public had mixed feeling about the storyline and the flow of events in the film such as factors affecting young people in the society. The film is starring Michelle Pfeiffer who plays the character of Johnson. While the film had negative reception during its release, it became a surprise outstanding success in the year 1995 and its success led to several creations on issues affecting high school students (Lumet 1996, p. 14).

The writer of the film tries to tackle the universal problems in his writing because they are relevant points for thoughtful people to reflect on. Viewers expect more than entertainment from watching this film and desire to relate with the film in a way that can influence their lives positively. The context of the film is based on the era of the production, for example, it focuses on young people dealing with the changes that occur in their daily lives and a modernized world. This includes the use and influence of technology, meaning it tackles the fundamental factors affecting young people through technology. Such factors include sex, drugs and joblessness. Viewers who do not know and understand the initial significance or message in the film get a thorough perspective of the writer and director from watching it. The film is full of special effects and a highly idealized main character for example, a fighter for discipline or an enemy of the indiscipline. In addition to this, other viewers get educated through the film such that they possess various special characters in changing and making their experience in high school different (Bordwell 1985, p. 56).

To some extent, the film bears different assumptions on family life, teenagers, children and gender. According to the presentations during the first fifteen minutes of the film in the beginning, it presents gender in that the new teacher does not have the respect of students because she is a woman.  While the expectations of viewers come true in that there is a turning point for students, it portrays family life as unsatisfactory for these students such that instead of gaining wisdom and self-control from their homes, they gain it from the streets basing on the terrible experiences they have. These encounters only come with life threatening situations such as dealing with drugs, which eventually leads the students to engage in criminal activities and lose their lives. The cultural context in the film is not strict to focusing on a major group of people but instead presents a general view on issues affecting young people from all places (Zuckerman 2010, p. 10-14).

From the journals “School as the product of the adult fantasy” and Jensen’s “what kind of a mum are you at the moment?” it is evident that during these events, the students experience exciting change of emotions and dramatic energies that lead them to commit acts that have weighty consequences that they are never aware of. Through these consequences, some emerged as winners and others as losers. However, there is a distinctive idea from the writer’s ideal intention and the outcome of the film from the response of viewers. This is through the trendy and modernised manner in which he presents the characters and scenes as well as the themes of existence. In his presentation of scenes, he allows viewers to capture the moving images that define the possibilities of continuing scenes and developing features. This creates a feeling of suspense and flow such that the viewers are able to enjoy the film (Jensen 2010, p. 170-192).

In addition to this, Jensen’s article states that poor parenting may be the cause of violent behaviours in a child. In relation to the film, properly founded families with disciplinary routines rather than non-social families that have no records of children’s actions could have managed the violent and rebellious behavioural patterns in students. This does not give a chance for accountability and other virtues in the students. While the school plays its role in educating and changing lives of students positively, the home or family have the major role of setting foundations for all children. In particular, the problems and challenges of students could be easier for them to handle if they had basic knowledge on what challenges to expect and how to get over them. This could be through a set of rules and restrictions or minimized freedom for children (Jensen 2010, p. 170-192).

With all these factors and more, students learn to live by and bear with such rules bearing in mind that some values should not e broken regardless of what challenges one may be encountering. Based on viewers’ response, it seems that a multitude live by such rules and laws. This way, they can develop self-confidence and be able to deal with adversity and other negative encounters. In the film, the character who appears to be the one with most challenges tries to prove her goodness and gentleness by establishing a friendly relationship with students. The film does not praise the idea of violence or criminal acts but instead shows the real flow of events in terms of consequences that occur when students are violent or commit crime. It presents the possibility to have the freedom to choose and take the correct decision for the students. The styles and locations of the film present the free environment for both viewers and actors (Bellour 2001, p. 55-59).

In conclusion, the film presents a more interesting and general view of events in the community than the media describes and presents them. This is because viewers only know much about events such as crime and sexuality in films and books. The film also presents the truths that the media embraces to make viewers live in lack of knowledge. This way, the society does not just live behind the mask of the media, but understand, identify and tackle problems it encounters through the knowledge of films and in turn are influences others to work towards building a better future for the whole world.

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