An Overview of the Characterization Concept in the Movie 12 Angry Men

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Updated: Nov 10, 2022
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Characterisation, plays a major part in most movies, this is what gives the audience insights into a character personality. The film 12 Angry Men relies more heavily on the use of characterisation than any other movie I can think of. Due to the lack of special effects and because the film takes place almost entirely in a small jury room the development of characters was key. This started cast of actors included such names as Henry Fonda, Cohh, and Fd Begley, even the guy from The Odd Couple was in the movie. An important part of characterisation deals with how characters are revealed. There are four major methods of revealing characterisation actions, appearance, dialogue, and thoughts. The film 12 Angry Men makes strong use of all of these methods, but the use of appearance seems to be the primary method used in revealing characterisation. As we are introduced to the characters we can make airly accurate assumptions of their personality based on the court rom scene a the beginning of the film. For instance, ju number two loks like the typical wearine classes, looking very awkward and small in stature. Also, juos number six looks very rough and presumably unintelligent; very large in stature with a strong jaw line and wearing his shirt unbuted at the top without a tie, We can also make assumptions about Henry Fonda’s character (juror B) based on his appearance. He looks very intelligent and almost angelic in his all white suit and with his tall and slender bild. Later in the movie these ideas are reinforced by the other three methods of characterization. However, there is on character whose appearance is misleading Jurur number five arnars to be the average middle class citizen, but in fact he hails from the slums.

Once again, since the film takes place in the small, sulforating jury mom we get to know quite a lot about characters. For example, we learn that juror number ten is a racist that juror number four resents young people due to his own sour relationship with his son, and that jur number three is a col and calm stackbroker who never sweat with as much as we leam about the twelve UIOS we never find out if they take anything home with them after the trial. For instance, ces jur number ten’s opinion of minoritieschaner, or dos juror number four resolve the conflict with his son. As in society the jury’s members were made up of those with very strong personalities and not so strong personalities, or leaders and followers. Which is flating because a jury is supposed to be a sample of society. However, there really isn’t a sample of society in the film as half of our society is missing from the movie, women. Also, there are no minorities in this jury. I find this a little hard to believe because I would think that a defense attomey would try to select a jury made up of mostly women because the crime in question haxlo do with a son killing his father, which is something that might persuade some men to vote guilty. Also, I would think the defense attorney would also try i get as many minorities on the jury as possible since the defendant is supposed to be representing all minorities.

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Another extremely important aspect of film is conflict without an interesting conflicta film becomes uninteresting. Of course, there is the classic geadversus evil conflict, but in 12 Angry Men the conflict seems to be more along the lines of just versus just. There is no real od v vil snarin because all of the conflict in the movie trvalves around discussion of a court case, and no character can be classified as evil or even osumber ten or four). Nevertheless, this movie initely had in share of contlict. In the beginning of the movie the conflict is between Henry Fonda’s character and the other eleven juros as to whether there is enough evidence to convict, and ultimately put to death, a young man. As the movie continues we begin to see other more subtle conflicts arise.

One of these subtle or inner conflicts is shown in the sone whom juror number four talks about kids these days and tells the others of the scuffle between he and his son. You can see the anger, fear, and sorrow on his face and bear it in his voice as he tells the story while staring at a picture of his son. Although with this conflict we see no actual resolution it is assumed that by voting not guilty he is in fact letting go of this hatred towards young people and forgiving his son. The same assumption can be made for juror number ten who gives a speech a t them, referring to minoritis, m uling his arist beliels By voting not wilty it can be assumed that he is dismissing his Yacist beliefs. In the end of the movie the malar contlict is resolved, the boy is found not puilty

To conclude, 12 Angry Men uses strong characterisation due to its lack of special effects and because the virtually the entire film is shot in the same small room. Alve the film makes xd use of conflict, although it doesn’t use the prototypical good versus evil conflict. This film makes statements about how our judicial system is prinsel toonerate, and gives srity a model for the ideal citizen in Henty londa.

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An Overview of the Characterization Concept in the Movie 12 Angry Men. (2022, Nov 10). Retrieved from