What grade would this essay be?

The question is: Analyse how language features enhanced your appreciation of the text.

Can I please get feedback thanks. I tried not to be too specific to the question because I want my essay to be applicable to any film technique/language feature question. Also, do I need quotes?

Rush, directed by Ron Howard, explores the idea of ego and self-worth in our lives and uses film techniques to illustrate key themes that are associated with this. These include how an individual’s identity can come more from their achievements than who they are as a person, how success can be measured in many ways but being a champion and being a hero are two very different things, and that we often judge people based on their appearance which influences our perception of them. Through the use of various film techniques, Howard propels us to realise that these are integral themes in our modern-day society that are equally relevant today.

Success can define us. It allows us to show others what we are made of and also allows us to gain personal significance. Hunt winning the Driver of the Year Award is a personal highlight; it makes him the best in the eyes of his peers. Howard uses the film techniques of low-key lighting and dialogue together to convey this message to his audience. In the scene, a spotlight shines on Hunt in a dimly lit room, and the audience’s cheers and clapping underscore their shared excitement. However, a mid-shot of a man, looking surly and clapping slowly, is edited in. His expression and gesture show his displeasure with Hunt’s victory. This three-second picture is the first sign that Hunt’s appeal is fading. Moments like these highlight how simple it is to become swept up in the moment. They do, however, help us to see how superficial and meaningless rewards are. This is the audience’s first indication that although Hunt is popular now, it foreshadows the idea that this may not always be so. While our first impression is of a confident, good looking and popular man, Howard is already planting the idea that winning an award doesn’t mean you are winning in life. We should not be taken in by awards and celebrations, and should look deeper into people’s motivations in order to not be convinced by superficial appearances and glory.

In judging people based on how they are presented to us, we tend to believe the initial impression. It is only later that we learn the true nature of their insecurities. Howard establishes Hunt’s popularity with women and the media the first time we see him. Standing on the extreme left of a wide shot of pit row, his arms around two women, he also has photographers and journalists crowding around him. His desire for attention is compounded by Hunt’s costume of bright red racing overalls. He is the only driver in the shot who is not in his car and ready to race. Positioning him out of the car shows that, to maintain his image, he needs to use the media.

We often judge people based on their appearance which influences our perception of them. Bookending the film, after Hunt is made World Champion, is another wide shot of him. Hunt is sitting alone at the top of a flight of stairs in his house, in low key light, leaning against a dark wall. His costume is now dark blue, so dark his body melts into the brickwork and only his face is visible in the low key lighting. To visually highlight the journey of the character, Hunt is now on the extreme right of the shot, looking over to the left. Howard makes him appear to be looking back into his past. We realise that his fervent desire to win has pushed away anyone who cared about him, including those who were with him when he won the Driver of the Year. Ironically, despite all Hunt’s successes on and off the track, he ends the film alone and lonely. Because he received validation for his achievements and successes from other people, he realises his life now lacks purpose. Howard shows the viewer that once you have succeeded, it leaves a void to be filled. It also reinforces that how we deal with fame and notoriety, as well as failure, can significantly influence how others see and treat us. We need to be mindful of this and not let how we appear to others become more important than who we really are.

The film techniques of a text are crucial in conveying the overall message of the film and can enhance our appreciation of the text. Howard steadily undermines his portrayal of James Hunt as the fun-loving, popular, and social playboy as he establishes it. We learn by seeing another side of Hunt that we cannot take appearances at face value, especially when they are portrayed via the media’s prism. We must take the time to comprehend reasons and go beyond what is offered to us in order to recognise the deception on the surface and the genuine person behind.

Hi again!

There is a lot of great stuff here - you clearly understand the themes well, and you are making some nice beyond the text statements, and comments that show you understand the director has crafted the film for a purpose. You are certainly more than capable of getting an E.

While it is an awesome idea to memorise a bunch of techniques and details that you can mold to a range of questions, make sure you are developing an argument for the essay question at hand too. One of the key things that come up from the markers reports each year is about students rote learning essays rather than engaging with the question fully, and being back at NA or A because of this.

In terms of this essay - the above comment does apply - as a marker I would be looking through to see where you have signposted language features, as well as how they have enhanced your (or the audience’s) appreciation. Given you do not directly address the audience’s appreciation until the conclusion, this essay would likely be held back (at Achieved because it is implied) but not yet explicit.

To improve - go through each paragraph and look at where you can make a direct comment about how the way the LF set up the ideas enhances our appreciation. This can always be adapted if you get a slightly different question, and practicing adapting to different questions (and signposting key words) will help you on the day.

Body paragraph two is probably the one that needs a bit more development in general - it might be good to come back at the end of that paragraph as to how we can relate to that idea of maintaining image one needing to use media and what that tells us.

You do not necessarily need quotes - you need “specific evidence” and you do have a lot of this with your excellent discussion of film techniques. Having a quote or two can be good if you have some that fit with your argument but no need to shoehorn them in.

Hope that helps - you are doing really well.

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