Creative Techniques In Spike Jonze's Adaptation

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The best creative techniques are those which elevate audience into new worlds or understandings Creative techniques that allow the audience to experience a new level of understandings are the best because they allow audience to see society from a different perspective. The meta film Adaptation, directed by Spike Jonze, tells a story about bald, overweight Charlie Kaufman struggling to recreate the book The Orchid Thief with originality in a world ruled by the corporate demands of sameness and success. The meta aspect exists because Charlie is both the screenwriter of this film and the main character. The film challenges to elevate its audience to new understandings about the dilemma between originality and conformity in society by presenting…show more content…
In the first half of the film, Charlie has nothing but contempt for his twin brother, Donald’s screenwriting efforts since Charlie neglects the “Story Seminar” script formula that Donald follows. Charlie believes that “rules restrict originality”. However, when his agent tells him that Donald’s script is amazing, Charlie’s response is demonstrated by a lack of sound techniques during his silence accompanied by a close up shot of his dumbfounded expression, which effectively shows his disbelief and difficult acceptance that society values a typical plot-driven Hollywood thriller over a simple yet original film. Donald’s success brings Charlie and the audience to reality that society itself is a huge cliche. Consequently, people living in society adapt to appreciate cliches. We are elevated into a new understanding that originality and differences are only celebrated to a certain extent in society, making conformity to some degrees important for social acceptance and monetary success. Jonze further develops this new understanding by illustrating the motif of adaptation through a clever montage of the evolution of life from the extinction of…show more content…
The Kaufman twins, Charlie and Donald, symbolise our struggle to achieve a balance between individuality and conformity because while Charlie “feel very strongly about” not writing a typical Hollywood film with “sex or guns or car chases”, Donald writes exactly all of that. This struggle for balance is further illustrated with the use of camera angles and composition. In the beginning of the film, the audience see Donald predominately with a high angle, making him, as well as social norms, appear inferior to Charlie, who embodies originality in the beginning. In the middle of the film when Charlie begins to adapt by listening to Donald’s advice and attending a script writing seminar, the camera shows the twins on the same level and there are more shots of them together. Jonze changes the composition deliberately to help the audience understand that we should balance the need to conform with the need to express their individuality throughout our lives instead of favouring one over another. When Charlie is shown more superior, the film is slow-paced, accompanied with dim lighting, and Charlie himself is portrayed as pathetic and socially inept. On the other hand, when Donald jumps in to

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