At some point in their lives, most people have come into contact with To Kill A Mockingbird. While some of us may have written it off as just another pointless book to read for class. But there are some who recognize it for the creative masterpiece that it is. I was indifferent to the film when I first decided to watch it, but once I did I was instantaneously amazed by every single detail of the film: the sets, the actors, the plot, everything. Every detail worked together in order to create a unique flow unlike any other film I have ever seen before. Like so many other great films, there are numerous effects this one movie has had on our society, and they are all worth examining.
It is amazing to consider the impact it has had on the film industry and on our culture in general. From the beginning it seems like an innocent, coming-of-age movie. A tomboy girl with a spirited personality spends the summer making memories with her pre-adolescent brother their her goofy friend, all while her kind, good-natured father works on a seemingly normal case. However, it is soon revealed that this case is shaping up to be the defining moment of her father’s career, and she’s caught right in the middle. It’s interesting to see how the film approaches the complicated, profound issues it deals with (such as racism and rape) through the eyes of a six-year-old girl. The film tries to simplify these issues in terms that younger audiences are able to grasp and comprehend, and in doing so reflects how reduced our society was during that time. It acts almost like a mirror, forcing us as people to look back on our history and question how our ancestors could really have let issues like these take form in our society.
But what exactly makes this film stand out? What makes it so great? The answer is not so simple. Many love it for Gregory Peck’s mesmerizing performance as the great Atticus Finch, while others love it for the messages that it portrays and how faithful it stayed to its source material. The reality is, there is no one answer to why this film is so spectacular. All of these elements mold together and shape the film into the singular piece of cinema that has cemented itself into our culture.
There are countless life lessons that can be taken away from this film. Harper Lee, who unfortunately died last week, once said that “People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for”. This film has a very special message to it, one that you should keep an eye out for should you ever find the opportunity to watch it. And I highly suggest you do.