• Anna Kathrine Krarup
4. semester, Engelsk, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
The aim of this thesis is to investigate the film Kingsman: The Secret Service in relation to the spy film genre as a whole and its cultural context of 21st century Britain. The reasoning for this being an interest in how the film marries an older and well-established genre with the social dynamics of contemporary Britain in order to create its own new film – what parts of its genre traits it keeps, and which traits it discards, and how it combines this with modern social dynamics. The interest is how the film relates to its genre and cultural context, whether it is pushing against social constructions in 21st century Britain or further cementing them.
In this thesis, the film is firstly analysed in terms of genre with the goal being to assess whether the film is a parody of the spy film genre or a pastiche thereof. The film’s initial release material is studied for genre traits and other indicators such as the use of para-texts. This is done in order to understand what expectations the film is trying to build in terms of genre. The film’s comic book source material is also brought into this genre analysis, and the similarities and differences are discussed in regards to what the film has kept, and what it has changed from its source text, and in turn what this means in regards to take on the genre and its cultural context.
After the analysis of the film’s approach to its genre, where it is determined that it is a humoristic pastiche, the focus of the analysis is shifted to the topic of the two types of Britain the film is portraying. In this section of the thesis, the focus is on a character analysis of the two main characters, Eggsy and his mentor Hart, as representatives of each their end of the British class system. The two characters are also analysed in terms of intertextuality or lack thereof as well as the inclusion of genre tropes. It is discussed why the tropes are distributed the way they are between them, namely in terms of how the more flattering and gentlemanly traits are at large bestowed upon Hart, who represents the upper end of the British class spectrum. As an extension of how the film portrays social class, the mise-en-scène of the characters’ surroundings and how the film portrays the two different social settings are analysed, and the use of colour and nostalgia to further a positive image the British upper class as a contrast to the British working-class is discussed.
Next, as it a large part of how the film builds the Kingsman spy organization and the spy up, the idea of the British gentleman is discussed both in relation to how it is married to the spy genre and in terms of current social class division in Britain. What it takes to be a gentleman, according to the film is analysed, and it is discussed whether this is as obtainable by everyone no matter class boundaries as it is initially argued in the film.
Furthermore, the female role is discussed in relation to the genre norm and whether the film broadens it or not, which in turn moves into an analysis of the role of people of colour in the film. The female and minority role are furthermore discussed in relation to the previous analysis of social class. Finally, the representation of people of colour in the film is discussed in regards to the African American villain, and how the film creates an othering of him to further the gentleman trope it celebrates.
Through the analysis and discussion of these matters, it is concluded in this that the film is paradoxical: It is concluded that the film does open up a discussion of class rather than dismiss it, and it does broaden otherwise quite limited roles in the genre for anyone who is not necessarily a well-situated British man. It is, however, also concluded that the film being a pastiche to a type of film of times gone by, and its celebration of the British elite means that it ultimately furthers the very same social constrictions that it initially appears to take a stance against.
Udgivelsesdato2 jun. 2020
Antal sider68
ID: 333391506