A short film résumé
Every child born is special, but with Matilda there was something extra. Matilda grew up I a family, consisting of a bingo-loving mother, a car-selling father and an older brother. Matilda’s family are far to busy with their own hobbies, so the don’t offer Matilda much attention in her growth. Matilda begins at an age of four to interest her self in the magazines left around the house, but realizes soon that she has got to go to the library. All by her self, five years old, she takes the 10-block walk down to the public library. Here she reads books, and becomes a child full of the knowledge the great writers before had.
After asking and asking her parents, she is at the age of 6 allowed to go to school. At school she soon advances in the classes, much because of her wonderful teacher miss Honey. The headmaster at school, miss Trunchbull isn’t half as nice as miss Honey is, and so she proves, for instance when she throws one of the students out of school bounds, practicing her old sledge-throwing talents.
After a while the film shows us that miss Honey and miss Trunchbull actually are related, and there is an on-going conflict between them. The conflict is solved, and the good once again wins over the bad. So to speak, Matilda’s father also has to pay for his crimes as a salesman of illegal car-parts, and he and his family are forced to move. Matilda elegantly solves this problem by moving in with miss Honey, and they live happily ever after.
The setting in the film
It can be very hard to place this film in a certain year or period, because we don’t get much hints. The cars that Matilda sells are from around 1960 or 1970, but they are used, so we can’t know. The clothing is as we can expect from a family like this (very special), and at school we can’t see any typical signs of time. But I would guess that we are situated in a period between 1960 and 1980.
We visit several locations throughout the film, it be Matilda’s house, the schoolyard, the classroom, miss Honey’s house or miss Trunchbull’s house. We even vistit the car-shop that Matilda’s father owns. As in all films, the people behind the scenes have carefully picked out the locations for filming, so that they mix well with each other.
The atmosphere changes with the film’s locations. When we are at Matilda’s house, we feel a bit cool atmosphere, where you are not supposed to talk when you watch a stupid game show. On the other hand, we have the cosy classroom of miss Honey, where you can feel the warmth flowing over you as the small kids try to read. The only exception is the text written on top of the blackboard: "If you are having fun, you are not learning". That sign is probably a work of miss Truchbull’s hand.
The main characters in the film
- The first main character is the one that has given it’s name to the film, Matilda. Matilda grew up to be a very bright child, despite the difficulties at home. She comes from a home not caring, and not loving her, just merely accepting her existence. Matilda proves to be a girl with magical powers, coming into light when she gets mad. She is a tough and intelligent girl, a flower still growing even under hard conditions. She manages to get out of the dump-like house she lives in, and moves inn under better conditions.
- Matilda’s Father
- Matilda’s father is a notorious minor-criminal car-salesman, which we learn to know throughout the movie as a quite non-sympathic man, whom interest are selling cars and making money. Matilda’s father really doensn’t care, and as a viewer we don’t get any sympathy with him.
- Miss Honey
- Miss Honey is the nice person in this film, the person always caring about others and what they are going through. Miss Honey has got some problems with her relative Miss Trunchbull, but because the good always beats the bad she wins her case and gets to move in to the great house she has inherited.
- Miss Truchbull
- Miss Trunchbull is a really mean person. Combining this with being headmaster at Matildas’ school means a lot of trouble for the pupils, especially Matilda. Miss Trunchbull claims she has never been a child, and she states perfectly clear that she does not like children. She is famous amongst the pupils for her custom made locker, where she puts pupils who hasn’t been nice. The locker is full of spikes and broken glass, and is the nightmare of all students.
The films topic
This film is not just what we see, it has got something more in it. It pictures some parents and how they neglect their children, and in the same time it shows us that crime doesn’t pay. It shows us that you don’t have to be rich to have a nice life, and if you’re mean you probably won’t have a nice life. "Matilda" also pictures the great things about real friendship, and that it can rise from the pit of anger.
Who I would recommend this film to
Because the film is so funny, I would recommend it to everybody with a sense of humor. But, Roald Dahl originally wrote the book for children, and the director Danny DeVito has made it a film mainly for children. I would probably recommend it to children, because it is easy to understand and the story isn’t too complicated. But, if you are an adult fan of Roald Dahl you should see it, because it is a very spectacular screeplay.