Faeryville: Themes of Hierarchy, Power, Control and Education System (film spoilers!) – Part I

*Please read the character introduction and film synopsis @ Faeryville before scrolling through the below to gain a better understanding.

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She was once the Anarchist, the Rebel Queen, the Fighter but she doesn’t believe in it anymore. Belle just wants to leave her past behind. Nobody knows why… but will destiny allow her to just walk away?

THEMES

Ideology can be a dangerous thing,’ says Mr Mathias (The principal). ‘Especially in the hands of the young and misinformed.’ Education is suppose to equip people with the right knowledge but sadly, there are still those who want anarchy and chaos.

HIERARCHY. POWER. CONTROL.

The Principal holds the highest power, followed by the leaders of the school fraternity who are under him, then the students and finally, the anarchists (Belle) or the misfits (The nobodies). There are power struggles between the characters in the film – The nobodies v.s. the fraternity (bullies) , Belle (the anarchist) vs the Principal (head of the school establishment).

  • Structured Systems

The film was intelligently set in a dystopian era with a high school setting, maybe to help stray the focus away from state of affairs matters? The outlook of a coming-of-age film with rebellious teenagers could possibly be a discreet analogy of the real adult world? My personal interpretation of  what the school hierarchy symbolises in the real world: Principal = Highest Power, Fraternity = Higher Authority, Students = Mainstream Society, The Nobodies = Minorities, Belle = Anarchists

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  • Various scenes of abuse or misuse of power

1) At the end of the film, Laer realises a shocking fact.

2) Belle went through supposed “counselling”. The setting of the big room with the white walls, a camera staring straight at her every word and move and her hands being tied is usually what you’ll imagine in a scene in an interrogation room.

Though it was not stated, I believe she was ‘brainwashed” to remove her anarchy mindset through the supposed “counselors” instilling tight fear and control into her, as the lens of the camera stares cold right in her face for who knows how long. And maybe… she was made sleep-deprived with the bright room lit up for 24 hours.

And in the end, the once rebel queen lost all her strength and fire she initially embodied. What was left of her was a scapegoat to do the misdeeds for the corrupted principal. She was so resistant to her past identity to the point that she wanted to “destroy’ Laer (one of the nobodies)  as he reminded her too much of her old self.

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I do not know how Belle was “corrected” during the counselling sessions but from the fragmented pieces left of her, we can assume mental torture was used to reframe her mindset, transforming her into an abiding conformist so much so, she had that much of detest and fear for her old self.

The principal had covered up this secret, only informing the media the school’s decision to “correct” her rather than prosecute as she deserves a second chance. The word “correct’ sounds quite intimidating, as though any student who is deemed to be wrong (e.g. mindset, behavior) will have to be corrected. If so, in what ways? It was barely hinted so the thought of not knowing what they actually did to Belle may scare you to even imagine about it.

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3) The fraternity bullying and picking on the nobodies, with the principal not doing anything though he ironically talks about education being important to equip the young with the right knowledge. Shouldn’t he be guiding the fraternity students in the first place then? To not abuse the power given to them by demeaning and bringing down other students who are “uncool” or do not fit in.

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At the start of the film, they forcefully molested and tried to make a girl stripped even though she was not comfortable with it. It may be a reference to such incidents of girls being sexually assaulted in western univesity campus.

4) The later scene where the cops stood idly while the fraternity openly attacked the nobodies. Was it a dig at law enforcers blindly following what the higher authorities tell them instead of being just and righteous?  

Food for thought:  At the start of the film, the camera angle focused on a close up shot of a tightly firm handshake between the principal and the fraternity leader. Was it an intentional sign to symbolize a sturdy and controlling relationship the principal had over the fraternity members? For me, I personally wondered if it had some inappropriate principal-student relationship-cum- homosexual vibes to it?

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EDUCATION SYSTEM  

At the ending of the film, when a student asked his teacher why do youths nowadays fight, I can’t remember the exact question or response but the teacher somewhat blamed it on the younger generation not thinking throughly or carefully before acting out.

Food for thought: 

Could it be a dig at an education system where students are taught to believe and abide to information told to them, even when it may not be totally true or the teachers may have given narrow or politically-right answers?

To check out our articles on Faeryville e.g. soundtrack, themes analysis, film review, click HERE

Written by: Cass

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