Boy is a 2010 New Zealand film written and directed by Taika Waititi, whom also stars in the movie. The film is about a young boy, living in a very small area in New Zealand that tries to reconcile things with his father, who left him and his brother Rocky at a very young age. The film uses a lot of framing, angles and camera movement to show emotions and to give us opportunity to determine what we should be feeling and seeing. There is an area in the film that’s approximately 8 minutes long that uses many different sources.
The first part of the section is right after the goat has been hit. We see the boys running toward the scene with flashlights, in a medium shot, because it isn’t too close or too far away. As the scene progresses the director uses a close up shot with a slight soft focus, forcing us to only look a Boy and the goat. This shows the compassion and love for the goat that Boy had, which was pretty much his best friend. The lighting is very low key creating a very dramatic and dark time for the character. The angle is very eye level, making us feel what the Boy is feeling, bringing us face to face with his thoughts and emotions. When Rocky tries to use his “powers” to heal the goat, the camera slowly and slightly pans across the goat indicating the setting and the situation and how nobody wanted the goat to die. The next scene is when Boy and Rocky are dragging the goat back to the home, and the director uses a medium shot but a very still frame. The only thing in focus is the boys and the camera doesn’t move along with them making all of our attention on them and the act that’s taking place.
The next section is when Boy and Rocky are burring the goat in its pen. The director uses a close up shot on Boy and Rocky, at different times, conveying two different emotions. There is a soft focus used for the background making us only see Boys emotions and facial expressions. When we see Boy, the emotion we can see is how angry he is, but when he looks at his brother Rocky, we can see how hard he is working to be just like him. The camera pan between the two as Boy realizes he needs to do good for his brother. The director uses a high angle for the next part when Boy is finishing the burial. As boy walks away the director uses a deep focus, allowing us to choose what to see. Do we see and young boy that’s just lost a friend and is sad, or do we see him angry? The director wants us to choose what to see, which is why he focuses the whole scene instead of just one part. When the scene goes back to Rocky we see him sitting on the old car alone, and again with the deep focus, we can choose what we see. The angle is a high angle and shows how weak he feels as Boy walks away.
The next part of the section is where Boy goes to visit his mother’s grave. You can tell in his face that he is angry and the director uses a soft focus for the background and a very close up shot making us look directly at the boy. We see this troubled child and the director wants us to feel that. We feel sad and curious because this young child is making terrible decisions. The camera pans out slightly as we take in the scene.
The next part of the section uses a tracking shot, and follows along as the men load the car with the stolen narcotics. We see the father, Alamein, becoming very angry. There is a plant in the way, which uses a rack focus, making us concentrate on Alamein in the background, fighting with his friends. As the friends drive away the director uses a combination of a tracking and long shot. This shows us, as the friends leave, that Alamein is alone and he doesn’t really have anybody. As the car is long gone, far in the distance we see dust in the air and a very alone Alamein. He then runs in the house in search of the money, causing a terrible mess. A rack focus is used to focus on the children in the doorway, watching this crazed man destroy their home. We can slightly see Alamein hurling things around, and while the director doesn’t want us to forget that he’s there, he wants us to focus on the confusion and fright in the young children’s faces.
The next section switches back to a long shot of Boy. He leans over the railing, pondering and we focus on him with the help of a deep focus on him. As the bikers ride by, Boy sits on the railing. We see a very close up shot on his face. The screen goes between shots of memories of Boy with his mother and then to a scene of clouds, by a tilt shot, following along as well as very close up shots of the boys eyes, opening and closing. The scene tilts back further and further until boy actually falls off.
The next section is when boy wakes up, and sees his mother sitting on a branch. The camera does a close up on his face and then back to his mother, who turns out to actually be “The Weirdo”. They zoom back to his face and he stares deep into the camera after one of the children come to get him back home. This lets us feel his sense of urgency and in his head what he plans to do.
Opening the last scene is a long shot of Rocky, with a sparkler, coming toward the father. When they show him, it’s a close up view and we can see the confusion in his face. When he skates to his father with the sad look on his face, the director follows him with a dolly shot. The scene between Rocky and the father uses low key lighting and eye level, close up shot. This lets us feel as though we are actually part of the scene. When Boy gives the father the money, we see Alamein frantically trying to gather it and realizing it’s completely worthless. The camera tilts up, and we think that Alamein is going to go off on Boy, but instead, Boy slaps Alamein and tells him how he isn’t like him at all, that he’s much better.
As the scene comes to a close, it’s a medium shot of Boy and Rocky leaving Alamein to sit in the shed, alone. I think this was a great way to end the altercation. This film uses its camera instead of sound, to convey emotions and thoughts. In many ways, music and sound was used in the film, but overall, the way the camera moved and followed the story, showed a much bigger picture.