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Social Realism. Themes. Themes of a Social Realist film normal focuses on people who struggle in life such as the working class , teenagers and there struggles with becoming adult and racial injustice, struggles of peoples life’s and injustice to people who are different.

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  • Themes of a Social Realist film normal focuses on people who struggle in life such as the working class , teenagers and there struggles with becoming adult and racial injustice, struggles of peoples life’s and injustice to people who are different.
  • Films that show struggles of teenage life.
  • Cherry Bomb (Lisa Barros D'Sa, Glenn Leyburn, 2009)
  • 4,3,2,1 (Noel Clarke, Mark Davis, 2010)
  • Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, 2010
  • Never Let Me Go (Mark Romanek, 2010)
  • This is England (Shane Meadows, 2006)
  • If (Lindsay Anderson, 1968)
  • Films that show working class struggles
  • This is England (Shane Meadows, 2006)
  • Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1979)
  • Dirty Pretty Things (Stephen Frears, 2002)
  • Films that show injustice to people who are different
  • Dirty Pretty Things (Stephen Frears, 2002)
  • This is England (Shane Meadows, 2006)
  • Dead Man’s Shoes (Shane Meadows, 2004)
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (Milos Forman, 1975)

Narrative of a Social Realist film selects one of the themes, or more, that are in a social realism film. This is so they know what type of group in our society they are concentrating on.

In Social Realist films most of our characters start off with a down trodden life when we first see them, such as our hero's in Dirty Pretty Things. our hero is a illegal immigrant who fled were he lived because he was going to be killed/ sent to prison for something he didn’t do. He flees from where he lived were he was tranning to become a doctor and immigrants to some where new where he has to be a hotel check out staff this is so no one will notice him ‘ “We are the people you don’t see.” ’

However even though most of our Social Realist films start with the characters down trodden life's some films don’t such as the theme of teenage struggle for example of this Cherry Bomb start of with two best friends Malachy (played by Rupert Grint) who works for a gym ower called Crilly and Luke (played by Robert Sheehan) who are quite happy getting on with there life's until they meet Crilly daughter Michelle (played by Kimberley Nixon) right away they both of the boys start to argue about why they should get her and not them. As the films goes on Michelle plays with them both leading them both on and braking up their friendship and screwing up their heads a long with this


Characterisation that characters might have in social relist films can be, relies, manipulative, cheeky, strong, hard, lonely, depressed. The characterisation changes a lot in social realist films, in all films, depending on what they want their characters to be like.

In a Social Relist film it normal has a hero who just wants to stay out of trouble at first but ends up getting caught up in something for trying to protect someone, the hero also wants to have a better life than what they have now, this can be to become rich, to have a simple life, to be happy again and lots more depending on the Social Relist story.

Their will normally be a characters who sells drugs, takes drugs and also gets into trouble or finds it. An other character would not only get himself into trouble but will also bring the main character with him. There is also the character that carry's the hero a long and keeps them fighting until the end this could be a love interest, a friend or a family member. The last main character will be the villain the villain, will be the person who gets our hero to do stuff for them a by blackmailing them or the villian may not become clear until the end.

issues that may come up
Issues that may come up

The main character may in counter on his/hers journey, lossing their love, haven their love stole from them, turned agenst a best friend, trying to handly politics and how to take it, understanding the old, getting to grisp with what they are, trying to change and also trying to do the right thing.

Filming techniques

Camera angles

Close ups: shows the emotion on people face.

Over the shoulder shot: shows the perspective of a particular person

A two person shot: so the audience can see tension between the two

Edit techniques

Quick shots: reflecting on the characters life

Shot reverse shot: show the expression on both of the characters in the scene


About the film

Cherrybomb was released in 8 February 2009. Cherrybomb was promoted through interviews with the

actors such as Rupert Grint, who plays Malachy McKinney in this film, and is known for his role in Harry

Potter. With Rupert Grint taking interviews it promotes the film by having Harry Potter fans wanting to see the

film as it has one of the main characters in it.

Theme/ Narrative

The theme of this film is Social Realism. This film is about Malachy McKinney a teenager working at a

sport centre called Titanic Leisureplex, owned and run by Dave. Malachy, and his best friend Luke (played by

Robert Sheenhan), soon meet Dave’s daughter Michelle (Kimberley

Nixon) who has just moved from London to live with her father.

Malachy and Luke soon start to argue about who should get Michelle

and soon turns into a competition to get her by outdoing each other

turning into sex, drugs, vandalism, shoplifting, and fighting with

Michelle leading them along. Soon after all off this happens the three

teenagers throw a party at the Titanic Leisureplex which turns

disastrous when Dave walks in to find his place trashed. Dave starts to blaming alachy, and starts beating him

almost killing him, until Luke steps in and saves Malachy by hitting Dave over the head with a pole. Dave turns

to face Luke and gets hit by Luke again killing him. Malachy is covered in blood and bruises, he tells Luke that

his not leaving Michelle as she is grieving for her dead father. Luke decides to stay with them until an

ambulance shows up along with police men that takes Malachy and Luke away for questioning, where we find

out that the ending of the film is the opening to the film.




Locations that are used is mainly the sport centre but there are other locations such as each of their

houses, clubs, and the neighbourhood. The film setting is in a city.

Characterisations and issues come up

Each character is represented as an individual person. Rupert Grint’s character Malachy is smart, sensible,

easily persuaded and has a hint of being a hopeless romantic, I find his a

bit of a hopeless romantic because once he finials gets with Michelle he

thinks there’s something there and considers himself with her until she

tells that nothing is going on between them and it was just a bit of fun.

Luke’s character is cheeky, reckless and sometimes inconsiderate but he

is also truthful. Michelle character is manipulative by turning Malachy

and Luke agents each other, Michelle is also a normal teenager struggling with her emotions and being destroyed

once she finds out that her dad had been sleeping with her best friend.

Filming techniques

Close ups are typical camera work of the Social Realism genre because it shows the expression of shook

and other emotions on people face. Over the shoulder shot because it shows the perspective of a particular

person. A two person shot is also used a lot in Social Realism to be able to see tension between the two. Edit

techniques that can be used are, quick shots so that the film seems chaotic reflecting on the characters life,

shot reverse shot can also be used a lot to show the expression on both of the characters faces.


Compare and contrast

This is England is also another Social Realism film but the theme is completely different to Cherrybomb,

Cherrybomb is a film about teenagers and lust whereas This is England is about racism. Social Realism can be

about anything that reflects on our life’s, meaning the issue can be about anything as along as it seems real and

as long as someone can relate to it. Another Example for this is Kidulthood this film is about the London gagster

scene. These three films show how different the theme can be in a Social Realism genre creating it to be a

completely different film.