The Drama of Things

Essay by NatalieC4444College, UndergraduateC+, April 2004

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In the movie, The Shape of Things (2003), the director used an over dramatic approach to display the dialogue, directorial style and the development of the characters. Neil LaBute, who wrote and directed the play, was incredibly apprehensive about the way the audience would absorb the information. The movie was not concerned at all with who it did and did not offend; it was more focused on portraying the basic theme across of, "Change if you love me". In the end, the movie had people asking whether it was all for the better.

From the first scene, where a hip graduate art student (Evelyn) exchanged dialogue with a dorky security guard/graduate student (Adam) in a university museum, the film felt like a play. The hyper dialogue with its circular conversation was engaging and kept the audience on its toes. The overly staged sequences were automatically displayed right from the beginning.

Unlike other films, this feature portrayed a more in-depth form of conversation. When Evelyn or Adam asked each other questions, the responses ended up to be more drawn out and sophisticated rather than the usual youthful responses of "yeah" or "whatever". LaBute probably did this to make the audience truly understand what he was trying to say.

After Evelyn began to take interest in Adam, the audience must have questioned her motives. Why would this beautiful young woman want anything to do with such an unattractive and overweight nerd? What was she was trying to accomplish? After intense dialogue and climatic events, her questionable intentions were revealed.

Neil LaBute used many different directorial methods to cover his theme and have it accomplished. Due to the dozen scene changes, the set was constructed in a clever way to make a clear distinction between the restaurants, coffee shops, and doctor's waiting...