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Mike Leigh$
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Tony Whitehead

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719072369

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719072369.001.0001

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‘A different world’: High Hopes

‘A different world’: High Hopes

(p.56) 4 ‘A different world’: High Hopes
Mike Leigh

Tony Whitehead

Manchester University Press

This chapter deals with Mike Leigh's film, High Hopes. Mike's need to create a stronger bond with his mother, after his father's death, informs one of the key character relationships in High Hopes. The caricatured characters in High Hopes were the ones who were inelastic, locked into behaviour patterns designed to keep up the images they have of themselves and which they wish to project to the world. Thus, the film had a marked emphasis of dramatic ‘realism’, using a comic strategy. This chapter throws light on each of the characters in the film, who make important decisions and undergo significant events, but do not experience artificial transformations or have their lives miraculously changed. The film ends on a warm, quietly optimistic note, suggesting high hopes for the future through a newly discovered continuity between the generations.

Keywords:   High Hopes, Mike Leigh, caricatured characters, dramatic realism, comic strategy

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