Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Humans have told stories since the beginning of time but it wasn’t until recently that we have been able to manipulate the way people feel about our stories. Film is an art form that captures the audience and has the ability to manipulate our emotions and thought’s so that the story has the biggest impact on our lives as possible. Stories can change our lives and the way we live it; filmmakers use scenery, music, and symbolism to achieve this.
Music is one of the most important things when it comes to setting the mood for the scene or even the entire movie. Music can change a scene from romantic feeling to a threatening one in an instant and most of us don’t realize it’s the music that’s causing this. Jaws has one of the most iconic scores in history with the shark music. People became horrified of a shark they rarely showed based solely on the music it had. When thinking back on a movie the audience will not remember the music specifically but they will remember how they felt during that scene. Music affects us not only emotionally but physical as well. Music can make our heart race, palms sweat, and teeth chatter. Music makes a scene come alive and makes us feel a part of what is happening in a scene. Personally, I have watched many movies where the filmmaker’s choice of music had brought me back to my inner experiences and made me feel connected to the character of the movie. The music in a film has made me cry at a scene that other people would’ve laughed or happy while others were angry. Music effects all of us in different ways and makes our movie experience unique which adds to the stories effect on our life.
A films scenery is probably the biggest influence on how I view a film and the experience it has on my life. Some people look at a scenery and see the beauty but I also see the importance and power that a scenes scenery and setting can have. A particular movie that comes to mind is The Light Between Oceans. This is a new movie that has beautiful scenes where it focuses solely on the scenery and setting. These scenes just had a huge impact on how I saw the movie and how the movie effected my life. Just the scenery made me realize how beautiful it was and how it in a way reflected the character’s inner feelings. In this particular movie it was focused on a light house on an island and it was a symbol for how the character’s isolation that he felt within himself was being reflected on the lighthouse. Scenery isn’t always a symbol but can also show the impact of a scene or change the way you see it. In Jaws it was focus on the wide horizon with nothing out there besides the boat they were on and it really made you realize how alone they were and how insignificant we feel when we are out in someone else’s territory. In The Danish Girl, the ending scene is of one of the main characters standing on a cliff as the wind takes her scarf away as there was symbolism with the scarf the cliff emphasized that scene by how we need to let things go and how drastically our lives can be changed.
Symbolism is the biggest thing that can completely change the way you watch a movie or think back on it. filmmakers have a way of making every day things become symbolic or you don’t realize that something in the background could be a direct representation of the storyline unless you really look. In The Danish Girl the scarf flying away represents one of the main characters letting go of her husband and letting him live the life she knew he was always mean to live. Symbols can be as noticeable as that or they can be much more subtle like the island and how it represented the main character’s inner isolation. Symbols do not always have to be a representation of the characters in the movie or even anything relating to the movie. Sometimes the movie itself is a symbol for something going wrong I our society. Filmmakers have this decision to create a work of art that reflects their thoughts on our world or our society. Every movie has symbolism and depending of how they present them can completely change how we perceive the meaning they are trying to get across. The reason symbols are so important is because it can make us make meaning out of something ordinary and help us make connects in our everyday life. Although some connections may not be correct we make them to help us make sense of why things in our lives are the way they are.
A great film is a film that changes the way we feel about ourselves and the world around us. Symbolism, scenery, and music are the fundamental parts of a film that makes it great. Without them we might as well be watching reality television because it wouldn’t teach us anything or help us understand more about life and the wonders it holds. When a filmmaker combines great music, great scenery, and great music; they get a story that deserves to be shared with the world.