Were The World Mine - Character Analysis Of Frankie - Analysis Of A Side Character In Film - Essay

1081 words - 5 pages

In Tom Gustafson’s film Were the World Mine, Frankie, Timothy’s closest female
friend, stands out as a secondary character that causes readers to assess the film with a greater
focus on the characters’ rebellious natures and society’s resistance to non-normative actions.
Throughout the film, Frankie is frequently portrayed as a spunky and free-spirited girl that
apparently deviates from the society’s small town values. Despite her well-established
persona, however, Frankie rejects Timothy’s love potion and the idea of being lesbian, which
suggests that she secretly dislikes disrupting harmony within the community and blatantly
opposing social norms relating to sexuality. Specifically, Frankie’s persona is challenged by
the love potion and her failure to embrace its homosexual movement suggests that there is a
stronger opposition to change in all generations than is actually realized, even among the
progressive and liberal youths.
Characters that do not adhere to social expectations or fit the traditional mold of an
ideal citizen experience backlash from the public around them, which pressures them into
adhering to the norm and breaking away from their rebellious natures. Whenever Frankie is
included within a scene, she is always depicted to be sitting in a higher position than other
characters in the shot. In her first appearance, she sits on a ledge above Timothy and Max,
and later on, she is placed above Timothy while they converse on the porch stairs. After the
love potion begins affecting people around her, however, there is a scene in which Max and
the two infatuated girls push Frankie to the ground. Though this moment is easily overlooked
as just a conflict between characters, a closer look at positioning brings a greater significance
to this scene, as Frankie is depicted below others for the first time in the film. With her
defiant nature and nonconformist attitude, Frankie is seen as someone who deviates from
societal expectations and is progressing beyond others in society. Based on these moments,
the film may be attempting to create a visual depiction of Frankie’s elevated stance in society
and her downfall through her positioning in each shot. Furthermore, when she is pressed
down below the level of others in society, Frankie becomes a blatant example of how society
fights against free-spirited deviants who challenge the norm.
By following Frankie’s character development throughout the film and her response to
the love potion fiasco, the film emphasizes her wavering persona to suggest that change is
undesirable in even the most progressive of youth. Frankie’s image within the movie is easily
established as rebellious and divergent from societal norms, as she deviates from the image of
a typical high school girl: She “plays guitar, makes her own clothes, [and] emancipated from
her parents when she was 16.” Despite her well-established persona, however, it seems as
though Frankie’s surface-level impression is only a front. When Fran...

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