I. Introduction. Let’s take a look at two key communication elements: facial expressions and gestures from the area of nonverbal communication and attraction theory from the area of relationships throughout the movie 21. From this we can comment on what this teaches us about communication for daily life.
II. Analysis of the first communication element in the movie 21. Facial expressions and gestures play an important role in communication process as they “help to convey information in nonverbal form” (Kendon, 2004, p.12).
a. The first scene where the first element of communication is used in the movie is the scene in one of the Vegas casinos where the group of the most gifted students with their math professor Mickey Rosa came to gamble. Ben Campbell was shown special signals (facial expressions and gestures) in order to inform him of blackjack score at this or that gambling table.
b. The second scene where the element of communication is used in the movie is the scene when Ben Campbell came to the professor Rosa after their quarrel in order to ask him for forgiveness. In this situation, Ben Campbell uses hand gestures to attract professor’s attention at the party.
c. What the movie teaches about this element of communication. The system of signals developed by the math professor Mickey Rosa helped him and his students to succeed in gambling and to earn much money. It means that facial expressions and hand gestures as the elements of communication can be effectively used in different spheres of human activity where verbal communication is impossible for one reason or another.
III. Analysis of the second communication element in the movie 21. The attraction theory from the area of relationships is the second element of communication which helps to understand interpersonal relationships between the main characters of the movie. According to the attraction theory, there are “four factors that influence interpersonal attraction: personal appearance, similarity, complementarity and proximity” (Frenning, 2011, p.1). The movie gives an opportunity to see each of these factors at work in different situations.
a. The first scene where the attraction theory is used in the scene when Ben Campbell meets a sexy young girl Jill Taylor in the gym where they have physical training classes. Ben likes Jill at first sight. In this case, the girl’s personal appearance is the key factor.
b. The second scene where the attraction theory as the second communication element is used is the scene in Las Vegas when Ben, Jill and other team members enjoy their life with money, go shopping, live in luxurious hotel rooms, and so on. In this scene, all team members have similar interests and personal experiences. That is why their interpersonal relationships are rather close.
c. What the movie teaches about the element of communication. The movie teaches that those people who have common goals and who are similar in their interest can succeed in life and can have close interpersonal relations.
IV. Conclusion. My personal impressions concerning the demonstration of the above mentioned elements of communication in the movie are positive. The movie can help to use these communication elements in practice. The system of signals including gestures as well as attraction theory can be successfully applied in the present day life.
Frenning, S. (2011) Attraction Theory. Group Research Project. Retrieved from:<http://samuelfrenning.efoliomn.com/attraction>
Kendon, A. (2004) Gesture: Visible Action as Utterance. Cambridge University Press.
Director, Luketic, R. (2008). 21 (motion picture). USA: Columbia Pictures.