The film ‘Matilda,’ was released in 1966 and directed by Danny DeVito (who also plays an important role in the movie as an actor, Harry Wormwood,) is reviewed as ‘utterly fantastic’ and ‘the best family movie I have ever seen,’ according to Rotten Tomatoes review website. ‘Matilda’ is a movie about a child who lives in a family that doesn’t appreciate her, has a principal who doesn’t believe in her, but when she finds her special power, she will give payback to those who deserve it. Danny DeVito uses many techniques in the film ‘Matilda’ to illustrate that the character, Agatha Trunchbull is evil and malicious.
Some of the techniques Danny DeVito uses include Agatha Trunchbulls appearance, the characters personality and language towards other characters, the music chosen in particular scenes and how Danny DeVito uses lighting as a technique to make Agatha Trunchbull appear more evil and nasty on screen. This paragraph is discussing how Danny DeVito made Agatha Trunchbull appear on camera. Agatha Trunchbulls appearance is very dark and gloomy which makes the audience feel imitated and scared by her. It should make the characters in the movie also feel imitated and scared when she appears on screen.
Throughout the entire movie, Agatha Trunchbull wears only two outfits, her everyday outfit, and her tracksuit that she wears at home. Her everyday outfit is a dark green coat, a tight white shirt which you cannot see, and thick tight pants accompanied by large black shoes and a large brown belt with a large silver buckle. This mix of clothing is dark, harsh and plain which is unflattering and old fashioned. This choice of clothing makes the audience feel like Agatha Trunchbull is imitating and not easy to approach.
Agatha Trunchbull is over average sized, she is very all and very buff, which can also make the audience feel like she is more scary and imitating, and the characters know by her appearance that you would not want to get on her bad side. Agatha Trunchbull has an unappealing face, rotten teeth, warts and moles. This can make the audience feel less comfortable, for example the audience would most likely feel uncomfortable when in a flashback scene Agatha Trunchbull picks a chocolate from a chocolate box, eats the chocolate disgustingly and says ‘chocolate is too good for children.
In this scene we get a view of her face from a close distance, and it is very unappealing. If Agatha Trunchbull were to be a real life human being, she doesn’t look like someone that you would be comfortable approaching on the street. When Agatha Trunchbull becomes less powerful because Matilda gains and learns to control her powers, you can see some differences in Agatha Trunchbull. Her clothes become less neatly presented and her hair becomes loose and messy, she looks less daunting but much more unappealing.
Therefore, Danny DeVito uses many appearance techniques to make Agatha Trunchbull seem scary, like dark, tight clothing, unappealing facial characteristics and xpressions, and being bigger and bulkier in size. Danny DeVito also uses another technique to make Agatha Trunchbull appear vicious and unkind; by creating the character to have a stubborn and mean personality and to be rude and mean when she talks to other characters on the screen. When we first met Agatha Trunchbull, it was the scene when Matilda was arriving at school for the first time.
Agatha Trunchbull was taking loud, big footsteps when walking out of the school into the yard to greet all the students an unwelcoming hello. This is the first time we see Agatha which means it will set our minds into thinking how he will be for the whole movie. The scene and large footsteps and rude comments to the kids as she walked into the yard including ‘get a haircut,’ “grow taller and ‘fresh meat etc. tells us that Agatha Trunchbull is not nice to children, is rude, evil and unkind. An unusual personality feature Agatha Trunchbull has is that she is scared of small, harmless living creatures; even though she is quite the opposite.
For example, when she is in Jenifer Honey’s classroom teaching a lesson, and she sees the nute in her glass of water, she shrieks in fear and her facial expression appears scared. Agatha Trunchbull uses negative language towards all of the characters throughout the movie. Some phrases she uses throughout the movie include, ‘disgusting, rotten children,’ and ‘sack of goat slime,’ and ‘im big and your little. Im smart and your dumb. Im right and your wrong. ‘ These horrific words and phrases Ms Agatha Trunchbull uses. Agatha Trunchbull has a strong, projective, powerful voice which also makes her seem more daunting to the audience.
When Matilda gains her power and learns how to control it, Agatha becomes more scared because bizarre things are happening. Her voice ecomes less powerful, she becomes more violent out of rage and confusion and her word choice becomes less harsh. Agatha Trunchbull is also a shot-put, javelin and hammer throw champion, which makes her personality more aggressive and competitive. She uses these Olympic skills throughout the movie, like when she throws children out windows and across re just three examples, but there are many more the school.
This is how Danny DeVito used Agatha Trunchbulls personality and language towards other characters to make her seem more imitating and frightening. Thirdly, the director, Danny DeVito selects a variety of lighting techniques to make Agatha Trunchbull seem more imitating to the audience. An example of a lighting effect used in the movie, ‘Matilda’ includes shadow. Shadow is used in this movie to make Agatha Trunchbull appear more suspicious and mysterious. A few examples of when shadow is used in the movie to make Agatha look more mysterious is the very first time we see her, when she is buying a car from Harry Wormwood.
Her shadow makes the audience feel mystified as they wonder and want to know more about the character. Shadow is also used at the school and at Agatha Trunchbulls home when Matilda is taking back her Lissie Doll to give to Jenifer Honey. Since we already know Agatha in this part of the movie, this makes the audience feel more fearful by Agatha and also creates suspense. Throughout the film, bottom and side lighting is used to illustrate Agatha Trunchbulls evil and malicious personality. This makes us feel uncomfortable and anxious towards Agatha Trunchbull.
Low key lighting is also used in many scenes (which is when a stage is flooded with darkness) to represent the same thing; her evil and malicious personality. When Agatha Trunchbull becomes less powerful, he lighting is brighter as she becomes more of a victim. As a result, Danny DeVito uses many important lighting techniques including low key lighting, bottom and side lighting and shadows. Without this lighting effect Agatha Trunchbull would not be as scary therefore would not have as much of an impact on the audience.
Finally, but not the last technique Danny DeVito uses in the film ‘Matilda’ is music. The director has been very clever in his choice of music, ensuring that he uses many diegetic and non-diegetic sounds and music to help demonstrate that Agatha Trunchbull is an evil and imitating haracter. Eerie music and sounds are used in many scenes when Agatha is also present, like when we first meet her at the school, and when Matilda and Miss Jenifer Honey are at Agatha Trunchbulls house admiring the past memories Jenifer Honey had left at the house before she ran away.
These sounds are non-diegetic which creates suspension to the audience, the audience will be excited to see what happens next. There are also diegetic sounds, like when Jenifer Honey and Matilda go to Agatha Trunchbulls home and Agatha hears sounds around the house, she creates loud sounds. For example, when she jumps ff her second story floor onto her first story floor, when she runs up and down the stairs, and when she goes into the basement. This creates suspense to the audience and the characters.
When Agatha Trunchbull appears on screen, there is not any nice music. When Agatha becomes the less powerful figure and Matilda gains her powers, when she is forced out of the school running for her life, there is happy music to show that is the end of Agatha Trunchbull and we won’t ever have to see her again. Therefore, the director, Danny DeVito effectively used his ability to create diegetic and non-diegetic sounds to mphasize the audience, and to make Agatha Trunchbull seem more malicious and wicked.
In conclusion, the film ‘Matilda’ uses many strong and effective film and editing techniques to depict that Agatha Trunchbull is evil and malicious. Some of the techniques used to impact the character, Agatha Trunchbull includes, her appearance and how she looks on screen, her personality and language that she plays throughout the movie, lighting techniques and diegetic and non-diegetic music. All of these techniques create the audience to have stronger, scarier views on Agatha Trunchbull.