Mean Girls

Michael Lalchandani

English 101

Final Portfolio

 

Mean Girls Review

           

        Ever wonder what it is like to be inside of a teenage girls head? Directed by Mark Waters the movie Mean Girls staring Lindsay Lohan, Tina Fey, and Rachel McAdams, helps us relieve what its like to be in high school just one more time. This movie helps us see life through a teenage girl’s eyes filled with drama and backstabbing friends. The writer Tina Fey keeps the film going along with great humor to mix in with the massive amounts of drama. Throughout this movie, the symbolism is showed through a “burn book” which represents all the wrongs of high school society and how Cady is separated from the rest of her high school.

         Cady Heron is the new girl in town who moves to the suburbs of Chicago because of her father’s job relocation. On the first day, she meets her new friends Janis, who is an outcast, and Damian who is “too gay to function.” These two explain to her what it is like to be a typical teenager in high school. Although they expect her to blend right in and be normal, Cady does not have the same views. She on the other hand, sees things from the outside in because of such a tremendous change of scenery in such a short amount of time. The fact that she is able to change from living in the jungle one day to associating and interacting with teenagers the next, in such a short amount of time is fascinating. The only problem with Cady moving in too quickly is her ability to see things too realistically. This shows that as she is adjusting; she sees things from an animalistic point of view such as in the lunchroom where all of her classmates are portrayed as animals feeding from a watering hole or when she is fighting Regina George (Rachel McAdams) in her head because of a boy, and describes as to how it would be dealt in the “animal world”. This expresses the difference in Cady compared to the other students throughout this film because most other people do not see these situations like her. Although she does not see things as most people, there are a few who try to change her.

      These girls are known as the Plastics. Until her first meeting with them, Cady was an innocent girl who respected her parents, kept her schoolwork in line, and most of all her social life as her last priority. While encountering Regina George, Gretchen Wieners (Lacey Charbert), and Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried) at lunch one day, she slowly starts to change as a person. Over the course of a few weeks, Cady Heron, the nobody of the school, who only had two friends, became the most popular girl in the entire school, second to Regina George the “queen bee.” The plastics changed Cady’s entire image, from the clothes she wore, to the people she was spending her time with. The most drastic change was her involvement with the drama of the school. This drama of “The Plastics” being involved in everyone’s business really opened up Cady and changed her. These changes are noticed by Cady’s parents, her real friends, teachers, and even the plastics, who love her for who the new Cady. This all occurred when her animalistic and “outside in” mindset changed and became somewhat known as the typical American teenager mindset. This change showed us what it was really like for someone who is an outsider to turn into a standard American teen. The mean and cruel ways of these girls led them to create the burn book. I personally felt outraged by the Plastics because of their abilities to change someone who had no right being with them in the first place. It kind of reminds me of the times where the wrong people influenced the good kids in the school and seeing those good kids change was a terrible thing.

        The burn book is something “The Plastics” use in order to talk trash about other girls in the school who are not as good as they are. This book is kept a secret until conflicts start to occur within the group causing the release of the book. Not only does this end up in an all out war of teenage drama throughout the school, but it shows us what reality teenagers have to face on a daily basis in high school. This book symbolizes the pressure teenagers face to be better than one another and the risks they will take to do so. This wrong act by the girls, lead for themselves to be shamed upon by the entire school. All of the reputations created, social classes, and authority created were gone in an instant. This is something I frown upon myself because no high school should have to have one group better than another one no matter the circumstances. The book ended up show the true nature of the four girls, and how they will do anything to be better than the rest of the school.

            In this film there are a great amount of camera affects and editing that can be seen in this film. One scene where the camera comes into importance is when Cady, and the Plastics are walking to a sass song by Missy Elliot. This scene has the camera starts off at a normal view and as the Plastics (including Cady) are walking down the hall the camera goes to an extreme low angle, almost at the ground. As Cady looks away for a split second the camera zooms in, to catch her falling right into the garbage can! While the camera returns to normal view, the viewers can see the affects done by the camera as it makes a funny scene even funnier.

            Throughout this film, Cady tries to change to impress the Plastics and show everyone she can blend into being a normal person. The director, Mark Waters, does a good job showing the problems that Cady faces while adding what drama and changing to a negative image can do to someone. This film depicts everyday life for teenagers and the burn book shows us the wrongful things that are done in high school by teens. I personally enjoyed this movie because of its reliability of what a true high school is actually like, but do not agree with how the issue was solved. This issue if faced in real high schools was never solved as an entire school, most times nothing being done if the problem was too big. In my eyes, this film depicted what it is like for a newcomer to experience and assimilate to high school life in America.

 

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