The theme of bullying occurs as a major one in forming the plot and in building the main characters’ friendship. The cultural aspect that is enriched by this theme is the absenteeism of a male or father figure in the boy’s life, which makes it hard for him to speak out. The result is an identity crisis with no reliable model and coming from a broken family. It is culturally wrong for a boy child especially in the years the movie is set in to confide in their mother or a woman. The twist comes in when the boy confides in the new girl and this makes their connection point.
The immediate theme related to bullying is the coming-of-age of the boy and the girl (Ajvide Lindqvist & Segerberg, 2008). The boy has to take care and defend himself for the first time while the girl is forced to look for food all by herself when her benefactor “father” dies. This maturity process is culturally appropriate and their ages, early teens, are perfect for the themes exploration. The theme of gender and sexuality is explored in the film’s main characters with the remake of the film portraying a more contemporary boy-girl relationship than the original version. The rationale behind this is the difference in setting, where the original film is set in Stockholm, while the remake is set in New Mexico. A great distance exists between the two settings culturally in that the original is more conservative in terms of the relationship portrayed between the two lead acts, while the remake alludes to a more open society where gender/sexuality is not something to be ashamed of at all stages.
The other cultural difference is in the setting of the movies (Wright, 2010). The theme of loneliness and identity loss occasioned by growing in an impoverished and dark kind of neighborhood comes out in the film. The original being set in Sweden manages to convey a darker neighborhood with no history, no church, and the buildings/complexes are a bit eerie. The