The film “Stand by me” by Rob Reiner is an adventurous drama. Since the target audience of the film includes youth and teenagers, its script is written in a light-hearted manner. The story is told in the first person singular, which points to the narrative mode of discourse.
In addition, there are implications of descriptive writing in the script. Concerning the structure of the plot, the author uses a flashback, returning to the events in the past. The syntactic structure of the script suggests using mostly short simple sentences, exclamations, addressing, etc.
The most impressive feature of the script to the film is its specific word choice. The words of author (who is an older person) are expressed with normative language, which is done with the purpose of creating a respective image for the author. On the contrary, the diction of characters’ language is informal; it expresses different emotions, which in this case are mostly negative. The informal style tools include numerous contractions, such as: I’ve, what’ve, gonna, gimme, drinkin’, won’t, ya.
The unofficial style is also realized through the constant use of informal language, e.g.: bucks, shut up, kid, tits, ass, okay. In addition, the author uses a lot of swear words, namely: shit, fuckin’, asshole, bung-wipe, goddamn, pussy, bullshit, etc. There are also various exclamations, such as oh gee, yeah, oh, aw, nah, aha, hmmm heyyyy, umm, uh-uh, etc. All these devices make the script informal and comprehensive for young people.
While talking about the language use of the script, it is worth mentioning that there is not much figurative language used. This can be explained by the realistic and partially naturalistic approach to the narration, which implies the description of events and settings in details, and avoids lyrical tone. However, there are some examples of use of metaphor, specifically: before my mom puts me on the Ten Most Wanted list; fall back man; pile of shit (regarding a person).
Among the other devices of the script there is ironic stance. The author uses deadpan humor, for example: Brocker, or Brower, or Flowers, whatever his name is; there are also numerous cases of sarcasm use: you only outweigh him by 500 pounds, Fatass!; go get the provisions, you morphodite, etc.
Concerning the sound techniques, the author pays great attention to onomatopoeic words and phrases, which are used throughout the whole script. The examples of onomatopoeia are: pkoooo!, KA-BLAM!!, tfffffffffft, sheesh, etc. What is more, there are cases of repetition use. For instance, the word “shit” is often repeated in one of the scenes in order to intensify the feeling of fear and panic.
One more important thing about the script is its use of different intonation patterns. For instance, when a certain word should be emphasized in a sentence, this word is written in italics: Oh, we will. We’re not gonna forget this, if that’s what you’re thinkin’; This is big-time, baby; Does the word retarded mean anything to you?; Yeah, that is weird.
Another point about intonation of the script is that the words that need to be told loudly or screamed are written in capital letters: STOP, GO, BOSS, JE-SUS, etc. Moreover, when some words need to be pronounced in a slow manner, they have some sounds repeated through dashes, for example: wa-ay, sor-ry, iiiiiiiiit’s, etc.
The script to the film “Stand by me” is written in a predominantly informal manner, which explains the use of certain language devices, such as slanted language, jargons, satire, etc.
Bloomer, A 2005 Introducing Language in Use: A Course Book Routledge. Cook, G, Widdowson, H 2003 Applied Linguistics (Oxford Introduction to Language Study ELT) OUP Oxford, London.
Reiner, R 1986 Stand by me script Trudgill, P 2000 Sociolinguistics: An Introduction to Language and Society Penguin.