Juno is a touching movie about unexpected pregnancy and searches for individuality. Many critics regarded it as a so-called dramedy, a combination of drama and comedy. In Juno, there are moments of lighthearted humor that keep it from getting too dramatic. It tells a simple story of a teenage girl but does it with the help of authentic recital methods that give the movie its unique language.
The movie Juno is a thorough-paced work with carefully thought-out scenes. It has two motifs that show the significance of small details through repetition: the songs by Kimya Dawson and the appearances of Paulie’s high school team that is constantly running around. These motifs help to create the atmosphere of the movie, and show the main character in comparison with other teenagers and allow the audience to understand her feelings.
Generally, in movies, there are practically no restrictions for the ways of telling the story, including the opportunity of time shift. This can be seen in Juno as camerawork easily changes settings. At the beginning of the film, the viewer sees the main character standing at Centennial Lane facing the recliner chair and drinking orange juice. Suddenly, the camera moves to the basement, where a flashback shows Juno in her first sexual experience.
From the very beginning, the movie is full of symbols. For example, the word “Juno” itself is a reference to the famous Roman goddess, who is generally associated with childbirth as she was the deity of fertility and marriage. This is very symbolic as the main theme of the film is teenage pregnancy. It is also curious that the symbol of Juno the goddess was a peacock that represented the power to overcome obstacles. This symbol can be regarded as an important reference as the main character in the movie does not allow her unplanned pregnancy to ruin herself. It is proved by the fact that, unlike many birth mothers, “Juno never sees herself as a victim of her male partner or as suffering a traumatic accident” (Chen, 3).
Another important symbol of the movie is light that helps to create a required atmosphere. Throughout the whole film, Juno is always shown in the light, with only one exception: the moment when she learns that she is pregnant. Light means optimism and hope, while darkness implies desolation. The audience can see that after receiving news about the pregnancy, Juno is shown in the light for the rest of the movie what represents that she has found optimism and inner strength.
Another method widely used in Juno is parallels when similar situations between two characters offer a viewer to compare them. One of the examples in the episode, where Juno and her father are traveling to meet people who will potentially adopt the girl’s baby. The scene change between a driving van and Vanessa and Mark’s preparations allows the audience to get to know people who are to play a big role in Juno’s life. Besides, with the help of parallels in the movie the audience may discover that Juno and Paulie reflect what Vanessa and Mark are missing, and the other way around. Mark mirrors Juno’s immaturity, and Paulie has a very easily wounded pride as well as Vanessa. The fact that Vanessa and Mark get a divorce when Juno and Paulie stay together, in the end, demonstrates that Juno learned from Mark’s mistakes. At the end of the movie, both Paulie and Vanessa receive what they wanted because they were ready to have it.
In conclusion, it is possible to say that the creators of Juno used authentic methods to give the movie its form. Jason Reitman, the director of the movie, has a special way of storytelling and a great sense of rhythm and pacing as he manipulates time and space by choosing the right images, and uses symbolism and parallels to create the story. Due to these factors, the movie Juno has a specific form that makes it stand out among the other works with a similar plot.
Chen, Fu-jen. Adoption, Cynical Detachment, and New Age Beliefs in Juno and Kung Fu Panda. Purdue UP, 2017. Web.