Posts tagged ‘Special Effects’

June 4, 2012

Hollywood Cinema

Bella, A Review + Hollywood Cinema

“She doesn’t see me that way. The only thing she sees, is the monster that took her daughter’s life.” — José

I recently watched a movie titled bella. The movie arranges itself around the emotional life of two protagonists, one of which is a Chef named Jose who was on the fast track to becoming an international soccer star, and a waitress who works with him in the same restaurant, who discovers that she is pregnant at the beginning of the movie. The Chef is tortured by his past. Through the course of the movie, that past is revealed to be the accidental manslaughter of a young girl, whom he ran over on his way to a press conference.

Interestingly enough, the majority of the movie focuses on his relationship with this waitress, whom he becomes close to quite rapidly through a small act of kindness that he does for her at the beginning of the movie. From there, the movie explores themes of grief and sorrow. The waitress lost her father, the Chef caused someone else to lose their daughter.

The emotions on display through the course of the movie are real and genuine, and quite haunting. Unfortunately, for someone like myself, I began to wish the the movie would hurry things up a bit by the time the waitress cried into the arms of the Chef for the third time. The movie really hits its point home quite decisevely, and there is really no disputing that.

At the end of the movie, the Chef supposedly decides to adopt the daughter of the waitress. Apparently this act is a symbol of redemption for the Chef, to whom the real focus of the movie is about. But unfortunately, I did not stick around to see the ending of the movie, as I got so impatient with the sweet sweet sentimentality on display that I simply imagined the ending for myself, and then turned the Television off, content in the knowledge that the ending was a good one, if self-imagined.

Many movies these days are quite the opposite of movies likeBella. They are loud and cliched, and filled with explosions and time-worn catchphrases. One must understand, however, that the strength of a movie lies solely in the power of its images, and in hollywood, the use of the explosion or the gun-fight has become a bit overused.

This is why movies like Bella are so good when compared to the hollywood blockbuster. In a movie like Bella, the composition of the shot greatly enhances the mood of the movie, and most of the enjoyment from watching such a movie lies not in the crying or the weeping, but in the vivid pictorial dance that twirls around the screen.

This kind of mentality is fully apropriated for special use in the Cinematic Commercial, but such an approach is unfortunately ill suited to a thirty second time slot. Due to the extreme need for compression in the thirty seconds allotted by the requirements of the commercial, producers advertising such new movies tend to squeeze in a rapid succession of images that are usually quite vivid, but that fail to make an impression due to the mind-numbing effect they produce.

On the other hand, it is much easier to sum up the plot of a movie through snippets of dialogue and easily understood images than it is to wow audiences with the visual effects. Interestingly enough, visual effects are the primary intent of an audiovisual medium like the cinema, but when such visual effects are reproduced in a commercial, one is more likely to forgo seeing such movie, feeling that they have already absorbed all that needs absorbing.

But to advertise a movie through a juicy plot or conflict that is understood easily within the confines of thirty seconds will greatly entice the prospective audience. This happens for the same reasons that certain art pieces are favored by certain patrons: Art sells when it has a meaning that can be apreciated, even if that meaning consists solely of bragging rights so claimed because one owns the painting. In the same way, the visual effects of a movie are at their most powerful when such visual effects are strongly associated with the plot of the meaning of a scene.

A perfect example of this is the movie Star Wars, which still appears fresh and thrilling even after all these years. Interestingly enough, if one analyzes the depth of characterization inherent in the star wars movies, one finds that the dialogue is not revolutionary. It was the special effects, grounded in the simply understood meaning of the dialogue, that produced such a great movie.

As for the movie Bella, do I reccommend it? Yes, I do. It is quite a good movie, and if you should happen to watch it, please inform me as to how the movie ends. :-)

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