Question: Describe an important character or individual in the text. Explain how the character or individual is -or is not- a role model for teenagers.
Being a good role model or not, they still are the most powerful form of education to peers. This is displayed in the film “Catch Me if You Can” by Steven Spielburg through the character Frank Abagnale Jr. By his actions, it is not difficult to consider that Frank is not an ideal role model. This chosen question is developed through his weak reason for running away and the incapability to come home, his ways of maintaining money in his life and his sore attempt of settling down for a family. The film itself uses an abundant variety of film techniques that includes camera angles/shots/movement, Sound, Focus, and Lighting.
In ‘Catch Me if You Can’ Frank Abagnale Jr. is viewed as a bad role model. This is shown in the scene where Frank Jr’s parents (Frank and Paula) filed a divorce after Frank Abagnale Snr. loses their loving home due to his IRS debt. This ultimately led to the runaway of Frank Abagnale Jr. The use of medium shot and dolly shows how Frank is running away from his home, and furthermore shows that he is heading to the train station for a faster departure. This creates the understanding that Frank ran away and never came back just because of a divorce. Understanding that Frank is just a young kid, it is normal to get scared from this situation. Yet, when Frank Jr. left his situation without figuring it out with his family, it gave teenagers reasons to run away from their problems. If teenagers do run away from their problems, it can cause social issues. For example, teenagers will have a hard time talking about their problems and instead of getting the help they need, their only option to get rid of the problem is to run away from them. Normally people run away from home due to family issues but then, they would come crawling back. Frank Jnr. thought differently and ran away from home for good. This shows how Frank Jnr. runs away from his problems and independently tries to fix them despite the consequences he gets from his actions. A real role model thinks of a plan before executing it, running away was a mistake that he took. This demonstrates how Frank is teaching teenagers to run away from their problems and do things without thinking of a plan beforehand, therefore he is seen as a bad role model for teenagers.
The way Frank Jr. maintains his money after his runaway tells the audience how bad of a role model he is. Frank Jr. had a brilliant plan of becoming someone of a specific job without ever training to be in that area. He has been a pilot, doctor and a lawyer during his runaway, during these times, he has made a big amount of money from his fake cheques and his attracting charm. One such example is when he first got money after buying a pilot suit. Frank was able to attract a lady with his charm, this led the lady to easily hand him money without any sort of suspicion. The use of long shot and panning shows that the setting is in the New York Savings & Loan bank and also shows the body language of both Frank and the lady. The lady kept on glancing at Frank while she was counting the money for him with a shy smile on her face, this shows that the lady has totally fallen for Frank’s charm and got her attention by his pilot uniform. Frank’s body language was open, his hands were out either side and his chest was open, he knew what he was doing to the lady. This creates the first hint to the reader of how Frank will manipulate women that are attracted to him to hand him money without any suspicions or identifications. Although this course of action from Frank was incredibly smart it is unfair to the women who get fooled. When Frank manipulates women, he is only setting an example for young teenage boys that using and manipulating women for their own pleasure is a good thing. Teenage boys would think that if the way to get into a girl’s mind is by looks and charm, they could easily get control of a girl which could lead to situations that teenagers are best to avoid. Overall, Frank is teaching teenagers that manipulating others is a ok thing to do and can lead to the things they want, therefore he is seen as a bad role model for teenagers.
Frank’s sore attempt of settling down for a family only shows how stubborn he is of a role model. After years of being a pilot, Frank became a doctor, leading him to meet his tragedy. Frank met a nurse named Brenda, who then fell in love and married one another. Frank wanted to start a family with Brenda, who he didn’t know too well. This only troubled him and his situation of built up lies he had made during his runaway. This is explained in the scene where Frank noticed that Brenda told the police about their little arrangement after the wedding after party which Carl Hanratty interrupted. The longshots show the setting which is the airport. The panning shows the movement of Frank’s eyes and what he saw, he saw detectives. The over the shoulder shot shows how disappointed Frank was to Brenda after he figured out that she told the detectives about their arrangement. This creates the understanding of the readers that Brenda has told the detectives about the plan that Frank made, this also shows that Frank trusted a girl who he married only for her to tell on him. In Frank’s situation, settling down and having a family is quite impossible after the treasure of lies and laws he broke. Frank could have easily settled down and have a family if it weren’t for his past chaining him and limiting the things he could do. A huge mistake he could have avoided was settling down with a girl who he did not know too well. This mistake Frank made with a girl shows how trusting/loving too fast and easily can end up with you feeling betrayed. This mistake Frank made with a girl teaches teenagers that it is ok to fall in love or trust someone and settle things with another person whom you have not known too well. Teenagers that end up making the same mistake that Frank has made, only ends up either getting broken or used. Therefore, Frank Jr. is seen as a bad role model for teenagers.
It is true that being a good role model or not, they still are the most powerful form of education. This summarizes how the character Frank Abagnale Jr. is not capable of being a good role model, and instead educates young adults into making bad decisions that will cause a big effect in their lives. The journey that Frank Jr. goes through in his life and the decisions he makes considers that he is a bad role model for teenagers. This is due to his weak reason for running away and the incapability to come home, his ways of maintaining money in his life and his sore attempt of settling down for a family. All together, this shows the reader how Frank Abagnale Jr. is not able to be a good role model but only a bad one for teenagers. Also showing the reader that his sensitivity got the best of him.