When listening to the criticism Billy gets off the shopkeeper we feel saddened because we get the impression he is judged by his standard of living and not by his personality. After the scene in the shop we see Billy start his paper round framed by the buildings surrounding him, we get the feel that we are actually there with him. After Billy’s meeting with the milkman we see him sit down in a field looking upon a factory, which again is a reference to the working class background. These opening scenes seen visually are much more realistic than in the novel, it also makes us feel more sympathetic towards Billy.
This is because there are many more mediums used such as lighting, sound and camera shots, which can show us things in a variety of different ways. E. g. Point of view shots which how us what that particular character is looking at or thinking at the time. Or it can show us the scene from a third person point of view, which is how the novel is written. The second scene I have chosen is the P. E. lesson, which I feel, really depicts the deplorable attitude that the teacher has toward Billy.
The scene opens with a positive image of Billy ‘He walked into the changing rooms as clean and shining as a boy down for breakfast on his seaside holidays. ‘ This makes the reader wonder whether things are going to pick up for Billy at last. This image is shattered with the arrival of the pristinely dressed Mr Sugden, the P. E. teacher. As soon as he sees Billy he begins to pick on him for not having his kit ‘Casper you make me SICK. ‘, he obviously has no sympathy for the family’s lack of care for Billy and makes him wear a pair of shorts that are far too large for him.
So from the beginning the reader is wanting Billy to escape the wrath of this bully. It is not to be; the bullying gets worse as the football match gets underway and even worse after the lesson when Billy tries to escape the shower. The reader cannot help but feel sickened by Mr Sugdens treatment of Billy, trapped in a cold shower just because he let in the winning goal. Hines even describes the other boys’ attitudes as being ‘uneasy’ about the situation, which makes the reader feel even more uneasy about it. The language in this section is again very descriptive.
We can almost visualise Mr Sugden’s outfit and Billy trying on the large shorts they are described so clearly. The image of Billy as he steps out for the lesson ‘The cold caught Billy’s breath… He stopped dead, glanced around as though trying to escape… ‘ sets the mood for whole match. The dialogue is very short and to the point, as in the first scene, and helps create the tension between the teacher and the boys, especially Billy. Mr Sugden does not speak kindly to Billy once preferring to address him with insults and sarcasm ‘Of course I blame you lad!
Who do you expect me to blame? ‘. The teacher thinks he is the only important person in the lesson and Hines has successfully created this image with techniques such as using brackets to inform the reader what part he is playing at a particular moment in the match: ‘Sugden (commentator) ‘And both teams are lined up for the kick off in this vital fifth-round cup-tie, Manchester United versus …? Sugden (teacher): ‘Who are we playing, Tibbut? ” This is almost like a play script. Mr Sugden is obviously the central character and the boys are minor ones.
These flat characters help the scene because the reader is able to make a comparison between the teachers attitude towards them as opposed to Billy. Although Mr Sugden does not treat them particularly well he does not punish them to the same extent as he does Billy. At the start of the scene in the film we hear the Sports report music as we see the correctly attired Mr Sugden warming up for the lesson. In contrast the next view is of the dingy changing rooms and the boys getting ready for the lesson. When Mr Sugden arrives he spies Billy and using an over-shoulder shot he questions him about not having any kit.
Then with a low angle shot see we the boys crowding in to watch Billy be humiliated into wearing a pair of shorts that were way too big for him. Watching this part on the film was much better than reading about it because you could really see how Billy was being victimised and the humiliation he had to go through in front of the rest of the class by wearing the ridiculously large shorts. When the class are outside they all lined up waiting to be picked into teams. Gradually the line shortened leaving the unwanted ones who couldn’t play football, Billy included; it is a pathetic sight.
Once all the teams were picked they got ready to start the game. We then see Billy standing in the goals, which seemed to emphasise his lack of stature, he is dwarfed by the goals. He looks isolated from the rest of the team, which again shows us how unimportant he is to everyone else; no one really cares about him at all. During the match there are many occasions where we see My Sugden pick on Billy for not playing as well as he wants him to. In one incident Billy lets in a goal which angers Mr Sugden into throwing the ball hard at Billy, making him fall in the mud.
This again makes him seem defenceless to Mr Sugden and his bullying and we feel pity for Billy. Later on in the match we see Billy hanging off the goals, completely disinterested in the game. When Sugden sees him he blows his whistle and the camera follows him as he marches and shouts up the pitch towards Billy. Throughout the scene the camera frequently concentrates on the number nine on Sugden’s shirt, this technique is used to show how important he thinks he is and how insignificant Billy and the rest of the class are.
This scene finishes with the barbaric Mr Sugden forcing Billy to take a shower and Billy’s feeble attempts to avoid one. We see Sugden trap him in the shower and turn the water to cold. We see Billy suffering and hear the sadistic voice of Sugden as he admonishes him for letting in the goal. However there is a note of triumph at the end of the scene when we watch Billy clamber over the cubicle wall and the camera fades out as he finds a towel. This is a satisfying end as the viewer feels that he has gained just a little recognition.
This differs from the novel where he has to drip-dry. In conclusion I feel that the film creates more sympathy within me than the novel does. This is because the visual images of the scene are more detailed. Characters expressions are more vivid, lighting and music add to the mood of the scene and various camera shots depict more keenly the important parts of the scenes. Whereas in the novel the description and dialogue help the reader build up a sense of sympathy towards Billy, the images, for me, are not as powerful nor as clear.