The film, released in 1963, is the tale of a group of upscale Britishschoolchildren who are being flown out of London to the supposed safety of theSouth Pacific before war erupts. Their airplane crashes and the lads are left tofend for themselves on a remote island. The storyline takes the boys frominnocence to savagery.
The film did not receive rave reviews from critics.The film version takes away some of the creative imagination that comes fromreading the story, but its images are as shocking as one might imagine little boys turned into violent savages(Webster, Apollo Guide). The reviewscould be in part from the inexperience of the actors.
The little boys werealmost all non-actors whose parents volunteered them for the job out of respectfor the book (Webster, Apollo Guide). However, Peter Brook did an excellentjob of depicting the possible outcome of the situation with which the childrenare faced. This film shows human nature in its truest form. Society is facedwith people who are vulnerable to others, those who are capable of making theright decisions, and some who feel the need to violate the rules. Piggy,portrayed by Hugh Edwards, is the most vulnerable character. At the beginning,he makes the mistake of divulging his nickname.
Piggy seems to be intelligentand sensible, but lacking the confidence in himself to put it to use. Jackbelittles Piggy throughout the film. He continuously calls him Fatty andat one point slaps him in the face, which causes his glasses to break.
Piggysonly hope is the friendship of Ralph, who betrayed him at the beginning, only toeventually become his best friend. Piggy never succumbed to the savagery of theothers. In his last words, What is it better to be, a bunch of savages likeyou are, or sensible like Ralph is, he proves that it is possible for someoneto remain themselves and not succumb to the pressures of others. Piggy is thesymbol of rationality and adult society. Ralph is the character who always triedthe orderly approach. Throughout the film, he tried to care for the others andbe the leader that the younger children needed. However, Ralphs leadership isdoomed from the start.
Jacks resentment of losing the election is evidence ofthe upcoming trouble that Ralph will face. He seems to notice signs of rebellionafter the first pig roast. When the plane flew over and the fire was out, hisencounter with Jack signaled the breakup of the group. Ralphs last appeal atcivility came after Jack took the conch away from Piggy and Ralph said, Youare breaking the rules. The rules are the only thing we got! Ralph continuedthroughout the film to stand by Piggy and the younger children. Even after mostof the children left his group, Ralph still had respect for their well being.Jack is the antagonist of the film.
From the beginning, he is upset about losingthe election and resents anyone who did not vote for him. He continues to act asif he is in charge. He continually belittles the other children and leads theolder boys towards savagery. Jack eventually splits the group and forms his owntribe. They paint themselves like savages and begin to chant and havewarlike dances. Jack seems to become more violent as his power increases AfterSimon was killed, he defended the slaying by telling the others that it was thebeast disguised as Simon. Jack seemed to have turned into a dictator toward theend of the film.
He is shown having the smaller children whipped; his crueltyeventually led to the murderous search for Ralph. This film shows the viewerseveral different personalities, all of which are in our society. It shows thevariety of people who are forced to live in the same world. Goldings novelis the sort of fable that could shock only those who believe in the onwardnessof civilization, as some still did in those days. At the time of its publication(1954), attempts were made to find political messages in it, but today it seemsmore like a sad prophecy of what is happening in neighborhoods ruled by drugs.What week goes by without another story of a Ralph gunned down by a Jack?(Ebert, Chicago Sun Times). It opens the eyes of the viewer for the necessity oflaws and the need for their enforcement.
It would be a sad time when the Jacksof the world could overpower the Ralphs.BibliographyWebster, Brian. Apollo Guide Review Available: (WWW) http://apolloguide.com/mov_print.
asp?CID=1984Ebert, Roger. Chicago Sun-Times Available: (WWW) http://www.suntimes.com/ebert/ebert_reviews/1990/03/536630.
htmlLord of the Flies. Director Peter Brook. Continental Distributing, 1963Cinema and Television