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Essex boys case study

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Essex boys case study

  1. 1. Essex Boys Case Study Directed By: Terry Winsor Written By: Jeff Pope, Terry Winsor Date Of Release: July 14, 2000 Genre: Thriller, Drama Duration time: 102 minutes A two-fisted tale of drugs, guns, and murder based on a real-life gangland killing that left three dead in the snowy Essex backcountry. 'Along with solid performances from the entire cast and an ending that won’t let you down, Tanter’s latest film has all the makings of a fine British feature' - Gloria Daniels-Moss
  2. 2. At the beginning of the film we see Billy locked in a garage trying to open a car door. This area is very secluded and claustrophobic location which represents Billy’s character later on in this scene when he’s driving the van. Next we see Billy and Jason driving into the Dartford tunnel with the Dartford bridge in the background. This is a cultural signifier as the Dartford bridge and tunnel are big locations in England. We also notice the wet streets which is stereotypical for a thriller. It then moves to a point of view shot where we see the car driving into the tunnel . It almost looks like a barrel of a gun which is good representation of death throughout the film. You could also argue it’s as if Billy is leaving his world in order to drive out the other side into Jason’s. Next is when Jason goes to visit his ‘old friend’ which turns out to be somebody who snitched on him to the police. This is located at a fish market, this is also a cultural signifier as fish is a typical British food. After this Billy drives Jason and his new hostage in a white van to the middle of nowhere. This location could be used to show the lack of life beyond criminal activity in Jason’s world and how he hasn’t been allowed a life due to imprisonment.
  3. 3. Throughout the opening we see a use of chiaroscuro lighting. This establishes that it’s a thriller. For example, it open’s with dull and dark lighting, this is to define the mood. We also see a lamp in the background which emphasises decay in the location. Billy later goes on to start the car and we see from a point of view shot the headlights hitting Jason. This is excellent as it creates mystery on who this character is. Next we see Billy and Jason driving into the Dartford tunnel, a pale but still dull lighting was used. It then moves on to going through the tunnel. There is a reflection of the lights hitting the window screen and it almost projects lines that symbolises prison bars. This connotes Jason’s ex prison status and perhaps Billy's future if he carries on being apart of illegal activity. The camera then moves to Jason sitting in a dark lighting, this could act as a representation of his ‘dark’ personality as a murderer. After this the rest of the opening is set with a pale and cold atmosphere with an exception of them leaving the factory where we see a nice blue warm sky. Irony and sarcasm is the only reason for doing this because there isn’t a good moral side to the situation they are in.
  4. 4. We don’t hear much over the sound of the strong Essex accent’s used by the characters. Other then that, it is mainly diegetic sounds such as hearing the dirt being emphasised as it crunches on the ground in the garage. At the beginning of the opening we seen an old dusty car, cobwebs and hanging lights. This gives off the sense it is untouched and abandoned which is rather creepy and shows that it’s a thriller. Afterwards, Billy and Jason pick up a white van. This is stereotyped particularly in the UK as being used by a dangerous or aggressive middle-class man who has a job such as a plumber or locksmith. Following this, the van turns up at a fish factory. We can tell the location being a factory from the props used such as bulks of boxes which are being moved around and fish lying on large metal worktops. Jason then pulls out a crow bar also known as a wrecking bar to use as a weapon and starts battering him with it. A crow bar is usually used by builders and man in the construction industry, this refers back to the stereotype of a white van.
  5. 5. Billy is played by Charlie Creed- Miles. His character seems like he was originally very innocent and normal. He has a very strong Essex accent and looks very isolated and uncomfortable in the opening. Jason is played by Sean Bean. He is an ex-criminal and current gangster. He portrays himself as someone with no boundaries and little to loose. We learn that he is predatory, strongly instinctive and unreasonable. Billy wears dull clothing in the opening. I believe this is so he can blend and pretend he’s none existent to prevent getting in any unwanted trouble. Jason is wearing a very bold black and gold patterned shirt with a leather jacket on the top. This reflects his personality, black because he has a very dark criminal side to him and gold to represent that he is a gangster and wants to succeed even if its by being corrupt. Billy Jason

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