FILM... through our EYES!!!

Here we criticize movies and films in partial fulfillment of the requirements for our film criticism course.

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Analysis of Cindy's Note

Posted by Harry Itie

The story is revolves around Cindy Haastrop a spoilt girl from an affluent family who has no choice but to spend her Youth Camp days in Taraba State instead of the Lagos she had been dreaming about. Cindy is forced into teaching at a secondary school in Taraba State as she waits for her redeployment letter. The letter finally arrives but she decides to continue her stay in the school. Despite the fact that she has garnered many enemies due to her proud attitude, Cindy goes about solving the problems of the community and she finally learns that humility pays.

The plot in Cindy’s Note is a linear plot. Here there is a beginning, middle and an end. In Hollywood, it is called Balance, Imbalance, and Balance again. The Balance at the beginning was understated as the entire story was a flashback. The first Balance occurred when Cindy was going to Taraba state to serve in the Nigerian Youth Service Corps (NYSC). The Imbalance part was when her mother called and said that Cindy’s NYSC deployment was delayed. This news dashed Cindy’s hopes as she had to tarry in the village for a while where she had to work as a teacher in a dilapidated secondary school. The final Balance occurred when Cindy came to her senses and decided to change the problems in the village. The Climax in the movie occurred at the point where the man who came to fight for his children in the school fell down and everything slowed down. The Climax was also emphasized when the NYSC Coordinator insulted Cindy and said that she was dating the school Principal.

Love – When Cindy’s boyfriend left, she couldn’t do anything instead she got into series of trouble with the Villagers and the NYSC Coordinator.
Passion for Change – This has two sides, the positive and the negative passion. Negative Passion is seen when Cindy desperately wanted to leave Taraba State, she spoke to the Principal and the NYSC Coordinator in a bad way. We then see the positive passion when she later becomes passionate to change the community where she teaches.

There is only one narrative form as the entire story is a flashback. This forms the title of the movie. The flashback begins when Cindy writes in her diary at the very beginning and this runs throughout to the end of the movie.

Suspense was used when Wilson chased after the thief in the market place and the viewer’s did not know if he was going to catch the thief or not.

Pride – This feeling was passed across to the audience by Cindy who was really proud, rude and resentful.
Pity – This was really felt when Cindy had turned a new leaf by deciding to put her best into the development of the school and its community and the NYSC Coordinator still came and was shouting at her about being the cause for the man’s fall.

There are various causalities in the movie that elicited the various responses as seen in the course of the movie. The major cause that led to the effect trailing through the movie was the fact that Cindy’s mother could not get her a posting to Abuja and she had to go to Taraba State. Cindy’s mother could not get her redeployed so she had to endure everything which was a disaster but later turned out for the better.
Cindy had a terrible attitude problem which came as a result of her spoilt background which caused her rudeness to the NYSC Supervisor. This behavior caused the distrust that the NYSC officials had and she really found it difficult to get them to believe her story.

Cindy’s attitude problem also caused Pauline’s anger when Cindy exclaimed that the accommodation was a hole and she was not going to stay in it.

Ngozi came back to the secondary school where Cindy was teaching because she wanted to get her money from Winston.

Ngozi’s arrival at the camp caused Cindy to buy goods on credit for Wande and this later backfired on Cindy who was later harassed by Ngozi.

Due to Cindy’s hot tempered and selfish nature, she dragged Wande back to the class because Wande hit her. This action caused Cindy the hatred of the English teacher.

Some recurrent features in the movie include the following:
The blowing of the whistle at the NYSC orientation camp
The continuous grammatical blunders by Mr. Kyafa. These laughter evoking blunders include; “I am a qualified teachers”, “What has you got to do with that?” and “Can I has word with you?”
Also, Wande’s constant unhappy look and occasional shedding of tears until she became very good friends with Cindy which seemed to make her happier.
There was a statement by Cindy about the three sets of people in life; the first who see a problem and walk away, the second who see a problem and talk but do nothing about it and the third who actually do something. This was repeated by Wilson at the end of the movie.
Under this, the first difference is reflected in the principal’s initial behaviour towards Cindy and his later acceptance of her person.
Also the people of Use community who were vehemently against the change Cindy was trying to introduce later embraced her which was a monumental change and a conspicuous difference.
The behaviour of the two corpers was in direct contrast. One was thirsty for change while the other was indifferent.

HAND-HELD CAMERA: Jagged pulsating shots were used when corpers were doing the fitness drills at the camp. Also, when the boys were fighting in class the camera was hand-held.
CLOSE-UP SHOT: This shot was used several times in the movie. An example was when Cindy was trying to stop the boy who tried to walk out on her. Also this shot was used when Wande was crying.
LONG SHOT: This was used most times in the movie.
The grassy and sandy area as well as the herd of cattle that were shown helped to depict that the movie the setting was actually the Northern part of Nigeria.
The broken glass door at the school depicted a dilapidated school. The principal was also drinking “Kunu”, a traditional Northern drink. The principal’s beetle car portrayed the low social status in Use community.
If one wants to go far, you don’t claim to go too far too early because what takes a person far is knowledge. Cindy felt she knew everything and never thought clearly until she was brought down. In conclusion, the movie is didactic as it focuses on teaching a lot of morals.


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