The Film a thousand words is a comedy-drama that stars Eddie Murphy and was directed by Brian Robbins. Eddie Murphy as Jack McCall in the movie is a literary agent who is not afraid to stretch the truth to get various book deals. He tries to deceive a guru, Dr. Sinja, who sees through his deceit, but agrees to the deal. However, a tree magically appears in Jack McCall’s backyard which falls a leaf for every word he says. When the tree shades all the leaves, Jack will breathe his last and the tree too will die. Jack tries to cut it but instead a wound appears on him. The tree is thus connected to Jack and anything that affects the tree affects Jack (Windayanti, 3).
A thousand words use major concepts of Nonverbal Communication by applying them to the communication of the film’s characters. A scene in which a character’s ability to decode another’s communication is crucial to the plot is when Jack is using non-verbal communication on the wife. This cause a lot of misunderstanding and Caroline, his wife, walks out thinking Jack no more loves her. Jack’s non-verbal communication is used to contradict his verbal communication, he tries convincing Caroline that he loves her but the non-verbal communication implies otherwise to Caroline. In another scene non-verbal communication is used to strengthen or emphasize verbal communication where Jack sings after his wife Caroline walks out of him. He says his hands and body as he sings moving his head about. This is in the scene when Jack is drunk and is calmed by Aaron.
Environment, territory, and personal space play an important role in this film. The Environment around the characters is the main focus when non-verbal messages are given. The person listening thus uses all the five senses in order to decode the message (Windayanti, 13). This is evident when Jack orders for meals in the restaurant. Territory and personal space are important in the Film when Caroline walks out of Jack. His is left alone and is able to be weighed down by the stresses of his predicament. The personal space allowed Jack a moment to look at his situations, and it was followed by drinking of alcohol. We see Jack as a Calm character when he gains his personal space and more troublesome when he is in company of others.
A form of nonverbal communication used by a character to communicate dominance/status in the film a thousand words is wide-eyed contortionist expressions of the face and the shoulder movements by the character Jack (Windayanti, 11). Some of the specific nonverbal behaviors that demonstrate cultural messages include how the definition of personal spaces. Culture defines personal spaces of individuals. Thus, how the personal spaces of Jack were influenced by the culture of the characters.
The physical characteristics of the Jack McCall affect other characters’ perceptions of them. Physical attractions played an important role in this film, the physical slapstick and wide-eyed contortionist expressions of the face in Jacks communication brings about the different emotions in the movie. Both humor and sentimental emotions are evoked using physical attractions.
Nonverbal messages in culture were portrayed in the film through organizing interpersonal interactions between the characters. They were also used when conveying cultural values of the society. Further, the message in education was portrayed through learning from social-emotional communication. These were realistic portrayal in the film
The film a thousand words thus make use of non-verbal communication to communicate to its audience different values in its varied themes which include redemption, Deception, and Family ties.
Windayanti, R. R. (2014, June 13). Facial Expressions And Gestures of Body Language Analysis. Surabaya.