The film I viewed was “Billy Elliot” directed by Stephen Daldry. This film told the story of a young boy named Billy who’s one pure wish was to dance, but his father did not support this decision, he wanted him to do boxing or a sport that highlighted men. This film highlighted many stereotypes that have been set for men that tell them they cannot do something because it is looked down upon by society. This film taught me how sometimes we need to go passed the words surrounding us and do what we feel is right.
A theme that is strongly addressed in the film was stereotypes. The film starts off with the scene of Billy jumping freely to the sound of pop music. This part shows Billy’s passion for dance but yet lack of practice and experience. As the film continues, we get an idea of how isolated and discouraged Billy is, he has a talent for dancing but has to deal with the pessimistic stereotypes from his unsupported father. This is shown through the quote, “For girls. No, not for lads, Billy. Lads do football… or boxing… or wrestling. Not friggin’ ballet.” This quote demonstrates how the stereotypes in society can have an effect on what people believe and what say and how they can be used to control people. Jackie (Billy’s father), along with the society, believes in gender stereotypes that state that boys are “meant” to play sports that have been socially and culturally approved by the society, not ballet that is “meant” to only be for girls. His perspective prevents him for supporting and encouraging his son to do what he loves.
In today’s society, people are still being controlled by people around them, and how much pressure is being put on them for what they believe. The media has a big influence on the people, for example, magazine covers. They always show images of teenage girls wearing lots of makeup and beautiful dresses, these have set expectations on teens to look a certain way so they can be fit in and be accepted. This sets the stereotypes on teenage girls that they are obsessed with makeup and perfect skin etc ; the girls are told how to act, pose and dress, and cannot discover for themselves who they wish to be, because in the eyes of the media, the way they behave and look is wrong and not beautiful. This is one of the stereotypes that young girls hear often, and we can avoid them; the only thing we can do is to ignore these stereotypes and this is exactly how Billy reacts to the stereotypes of his father. He blocks out those comments and keeps on pursuing his dreams. This shows how gender stereotypes can get into our heads and we end up listening to something that is untrue; no one can stop us from doing what we love. Billy listens to himself, not the others.
Another big part of this film is chasing after your dreams. Billy’s dream is to go to a ballet school and become to a professional ballet dancer. Everyone has their own dreams and when society continues to say that we can’t do something, because it is not natural for your gender, or isn’t right, you shouldn’t listen. Society and what it tells us is not always correct. It’s telling us what we have to do to be accepted, when in fact, the most important thing is to be yourself and follow what your heart says. In the final scene, we see grown up Billy dancing on the stage, he is content, knowing that he has made it and how far he has come. The camera is then turned to Billy’s father, who is sitting in the audience, he is in tears; this scene shows that he is very proud of his son and he has now realised how important it is to chase after your own dreams.