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Your Life in 'The Outsiders': Critical Review Essay

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Violent, wacky, and powerful! Those are the three words that would describe the movie, The Outsiders. This movie is based on the book The Outsiders, which was written by S.E Hinton. In 1983, Francis Ford Coppola Film Productions brought this spectacular story to life by bringing together a talented cast and crew. This book talks about the lives of curiously, unconvincing teens in the circa 1960s and their lifestyle with engaging stories. The Outsiders talks about the life of gangs called the Socs and the Greasers. From the plot twists to their crazy stories, the book was great. However, the movie could have been better with the acting to the production. This movie is about a teen gang in rural Oklahoma. The two gangs are the Greasers which are the unprivileged and the Socs which are the rich, needy people. The two sides use anything to pester each other so that whenever they meet there is friction. When two greasers Ponyboy Curtis (C. Thomas Howell) and Johnny Cade (Ralph Macchio) get into some ambushes which end in the death of a Soc, the two boys are forced to get out of town and find a hideout before the news spreads. Ponyboy and Johnny, along with fearful Dallas (Matt Dillon) and other greasers must handle their violent lives very carefully. While some achieve redemption, others meet tragic ends. If you haven’t seen the movie, I’d like to give a warning in regard to the acting and production as it was not done very well.

The film was made in the 80s however, its production could have been executed a lot better. Although the main actors are very popular such as C. Thomas Howell (who played Ponyboy) and Ralph Macchio (who played Johnny), actions that they portrayed in this movie are known to be horrendous. None of the emotions in this movie seemed believable enough to imagine it being realistic. Their happiness was forced, their glumness was played and they did not execute their emotions that should've been there for the scene. For instance, when Bob (a south-side Soc) dies, the sadness that was meant to be portrayed didn’t seem sorrowful at all. The scene was closer to being funnier than sad. The way they tried to make C. Thomas Howell seem depressed was horrific. When Patrick Swayze (who played Darry Curtis) hit Thomas Howell, the scene seemed rushed. In this movie, there is a limited range of expressions and actions. Even though this movie is known for its star-stunned cast with Tom Cruise and Dirty Dancer Patrick Swayze leading the way, their acting made the film fall apart.

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Don’t even get me started on the production. You might think that the acting is bad and that at least they could have made the product better, but no! The production was even worse. The production started with horrible lighting to loud music, they had executed this in a very unprofessional manner. For instance, at the beginning of the film, Dally, Johnny, and Ponyboy were walking to the movies when Dally and Ponyboy started talking. Loud music began to play in the scene and it was so loud, you weren’t able to hear or see them since the scene was very dark. This happened in the course of the movie where they would be talking and you wouldn’t be able to hear the conversation over the upbeat and loud music used in the film. During the rumble, the production was so bad, you couldn’t tell if the gangs were fighting because the lighting was dimmed and for some reason, it started to rain out of nowhere which made the scene look fake. The whole point of turning a book into a movie is to make the bewildering story seem real. If they were to produce a better product, the movie would have been better and more interesting to watch, however, the production crew wasn’t able to triumph in this. The overall plot in the movie and the book was amazing. Their idea was to execute the stunning style found in the book, but the movie just wasn’t able to include the tension and poignancy from the book. In the book and the film, they portrayed the difference between the two gangs, the Greasers and the Socs, and how these two gangs live in two completely different worlds and how they never meshed well together. This came across perfectly in the book but not in the movie. You couldn’t even tell which gang was which until halfway through this 80s film. They had a great plot that was expressed tremendously in the book with every chapter ending in suspense that would make you want to keep on flipping the pages. Sadly in the movie, they missed key points which were included in the movie, but in such a rush that you weren’t able to understand what was important. In the movie, their scenes were sketchy, the storyline didn’t flow right and the acting was terrible. Francis Ford Coppola executed this movie terribly when it could have been way better.

Overall, I say that you shouldn’t waste your time and money on this horrific movie. This film deserves a remake by learning from the mistakes that the director has made and giving more comparisons to the book. “I’m sorry what was that” This was the phrase Soda Pop used when they were eating after he picked them from the church, and this line relates to how I feel about this book because I do regret watching this movie so “what was that”. Altogether, I would rate this movie 5/10 because of the acting to the production. I would not recommend that you watch this movie. It would be a misuse of 90 minutes of your life.

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Your Life in ‘The Outsiders’: Critical Review Essay. (2023, August 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 5, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/your-life-in-the-outsiders-critical-review-essay/
“Your Life in ‘The Outsiders’: Critical Review Essay.” Edubirdie, 17 Aug. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/your-life-in-the-outsiders-critical-review-essay/
Your Life in ‘The Outsiders’: Critical Review Essay. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/your-life-in-the-outsiders-critical-review-essay/> [Accessed 5 Mar. 2024].
Your Life in ‘The Outsiders’: Critical Review Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Aug 17 [cited 2024 Mar 5]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/your-life-in-the-outsiders-critical-review-essay/
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