Portfolio movie ‘The Notebook’ Essay Sample
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Portfolio movie ‘The Notebook’ Essay Sample
This assignment gives us a general overview of the story. We chose The Notebook because we’ve both seen it before and enjoyed it a lot. This film is about a rich young woman who falls in love with a poor and passionate man. They are separated by social differences but can’t live without each other. Roles
In every movie there are similar roles; these are the protagonist, the antagonist and the tritagonist. In the Notebook the protagonists are Allie and Noah because they are the main characters in the film because they are the centre of the story. Besides the protagonist you have the antagonist. The antagonist gets in the way of the protagonist from achieving his/her goal. In this case the antagonist is the mother of Allie because she doesn’t approve the love relationship of Allie and Noah. Allie’s mother tries to prevent the couple from seeing each other because she wants Allie to marry a rich, polite man. As soon as Allie is forced to move near her college and Noah and Allie stop seeing each other, Noah starts writing letters to her every day. But the antagonist steps in and takes away all letters so Allie won’t be able to read them. The last role is the tritagonist. The tritagonist in this movie is Lon, Allies future fiancé. Most of the time the tritagonist is seen as a helper of either the protagonist or the antagonist and this fits the role of Lon, he helps our antagonist because he is the perfect fiancé for Allie and because of him Allie starts to move on and forget her summer romance Noah. Plot
The plot of the story is actually everything you can see in the movie. We will explain the plot by the use of some frames from the movie which may help you to put together the events and interpret the story of this plot.
In the movie you see an old man reading a story to an old woman in a retirement home. He reads to her every day because she can’t remember anything from their past. She has Alzheimer’s. In the movie the story is represented by flashbacks. When the man starts to read, the story he reads is visualised in the movie. You can see everything he is telling. He tells a love story about a boy and a girl; how they meet, fall in love, spend a lot of time together but also the conflict which involves the boy and the girl. The parents of the girl don’t approve their relationship because the boy is poor and they are rich and wealthy people. They are torn apart and Allie meets another man. Noah writes Allie every day for a year but gets no response. He tries to move on with his life.
One day when Allie is fitting wedding dresses for her wedding she sees Noah in the paper. She decides to visit Noah and they fall in love again. At the end of the story Allie chooses Noah. The ‘old’ man finished reading the story and the old woman in the elderly home remembers that the story he read is their past together. For a moment they are happy together but then she forgets everything again. Eventually, a couple nights further, Noah visits Allie (old) in her room. She remembers everything and they fall asleep together but they don’t wake up anymore.
The story begins with Noah meeting Allie at the carnival. Noah immediately falls in love. Allie isn’t an easy women and Noah has to put in a lot of effort to get her on a date. During their date Allie falls in love with Noah. They spend the entire summer together and they are crazy about each other. After an argument with Allies parents they break up and Allie unexpectedly leaves town without being able to say goodbye to Noah. Noah writes Allie 365 letters, one each day for a year. After this year never getting any response he gives up and tries to move on with his life. He builds the house the two of them always wanted in the hope she would come back. Several years go by and Allie meets another rich, wealthy man who she gets engaged to. When Allie sees a picture of Noah and his new house she visits him. She realises she is still in love with him and after arguments and doubts she chooses to spend her life with Noah. The story has ended and the old woman (Allie) remembers that it was them in the story. She falls back but in the end of the movie she remembers and eventually they die together in their sleep.
In the Notebook there are two universal conflicts which are Past vs. Future & Reality vs. Illusion. Past vs. Future is a universal conflict that fits our movie because the story is told in an elderly home with flashbacks about their youth together. Noah tells Allie what happened in the past because he wants her to remind it which is difficult in relation to her disease; Alzheimer. The universal conflict most importantly takes place in the mind of the character, which in this case relates to (old) Noah who wants to go back to his past so badly that he tries over and over by reading to his ill wife. Truth is that they don’t live in the past anymore and maybe he should focus on the future and more importantly present. Reality vs. Illusion is a second universal conflict which we think is worth to mention. Noah reads Allie the same story about their past because he wants her to remember but that possibility decreases as her disease increases. Maybe he must look at the reality and accept her disease for what it is, stop living the illusion that he’s in to at that moment. Storytelling device
We think this movie contains an allegory because of the social class conflict in the movie. The situation of Noah not being accepted because he is a poor country boy and Allie coming from a wealthy family symbolises the social class conflict. Social classes differences have always been there. Especially decades ago it was unacceptable to marry someone of with large social differences in terms of money or origin. People with less money are seen as a lower individual which is also the case in our movie. The forbidden love between Allie and Noah symbolises the distinction of social classes.
Narrative pattern of parallelism
There are some motives in this movie which together make a narrative pattern of parallelism. The main motives are the serious diseases that are shown in the movie like Alzheimer and heart attacks. The Alzheimer is visible every time the reaction of (old) Noah is shown about the story he tells her. This repeatedly comes back just like the conditions of Noah’s heart. He must visit the doctor every now and then. Just like the diseases there are two songs that comes back in the movie several times, ‘I’ll be seeing you’ is one of them. The song was very famous during World War II. The song is played as non-diegetic music when Allie and Noah are dancing on the street after their first date. We believe the music symbolises the two falling in love with each other.
The song is again non-diegetic the moment Allie (old) remembers that the story Noah was reading is their love story of the past. Again this song is a symbol for their love which is clearly visible that moment. Allie played a song on the piano right before the moment they have sex for the first time, this was a precious moment for both of them. The song, called ‘Chopsticks’ is a song that Allie loved and the moment Noah (old) has to go to the doctor she plays the piano and is even capable of playing the song from her memory only. This gives a sense of romance and strength of their love. Difference and variation, similarity and repetition
For example the songs, the songs differ in a small way. The first time a song was played it was sang by a woman and the second time it was sang by a man. We think this might be because in the first situation we see the situation more likely from the woman’s perspective and in the second situation we see it more likely from Noah’s perspective because we can really notice the pain he’s going through at the moment Allie loses her memory again. Besides that you have repetition and variation in the narrative itself. The mother-daughter situation we’d like to call it. It’s a particular part of the movie where the mother apologises to Allie for hiding the letters. She wants her to make her own decision because she had a kind of the same situation when she was young. She was in love with a boy but she chose the rich man and she wondered ever since that choice how it would have been if she chose her love. So she wants Allie to spare the pain and make the right decision.
We chose the scene that Noah takes Allie on a boat trip and the moment that they are sailing back to shore because of the weather. When they are back on shore Allie gets angry because she doesn’t understand why Noah didn’t write her. They get into a discussion because he did write her. At the end Noah says it still isn’t over for him and kisses her. External analysis
This scene has a purpose in the narrative context which is that Allie and Noah are reliving the past, they have so much fun and they fall in love again. Internal analysis
The development in this scene is that they are enjoying themselves, afterwards they get into a discussion about how their relationship came to an end. Then they realise how badly they miss each other. Three planes analysis
The first frames we’ve taken in this scene (1&2) are simple frames of (extreme) wide shots. This has been done to show viewers the environment of the place Noah and Allie are at that moment. These frames are followed by a lot of medium frames (3 till 10) where the line of action is just beside the camera. The shots are takes quicker because tension is build up in the situation by the rain that’s falling down and their reaction towards it. By the use of this cinematography the tension is clearer towards viewers. At the eleventh frame is a pan shot because the camera moves along with the line of action which is the boat Noah and Allie are in. Then again at frame 12 the frame plane has an extreme wide shot to again show the environment and to show that they have arrived at the pier. After those we see Allie walking away from the line of action (frame 14) which means they have given attention to the geographical plane.
The reason for this movement is to grab the attention of viewers which is important because also in the movie she suddenly becomes mad at this moment and wants to walk away from their situation. At the following frames (16&17) attention has been paid to the depth plane with low and high angles. This has been done for simple reasons like the fact that she is standing on a higher platform than he is, which makes her bigger and therefore she must look down on him a bit and the same counts for him. Finally (frame 18&19) we have a few over-shoulder-looks to create tension during their argument about the letters he wrote her. In the story we get to see and more easily feel their emotions of the strong and deep love. Our scene ends with an close-up of the two kissing which gives an intense emotion along with the situation itself.
Description from dramatic point of view:
Noah is in the local bus when he sees Allie walking down the street. He stops the bus and runs after her. The moment Noah thinks he lost track of her he looks through the window of a restaurant and sees her meeting Lon Hamilton with a big kiss.
The development in this scene is that Noah got enthusiastic when he saw Allie which gives the idea that he’s still attracted to her but his enthusiasm disappears the moment Allie kisses her fiancée Lon, he feels astonished and sad that she has found someone else.
Rhythmic: In the beginning of the scene where Noah enters the city with a local bus the shots are all about the same length. At the moment Noah sees Allie the frames are a bit shorter and especially when Noah decides to pull at the handle of the bus doors and run across the crowded street the frames take very short. From that moment when Noah decided to pull at the handle you can see the stress on his face and therefore this rhythmic editing dimension helps to achieve the dramatic effect in this moment. When Noah is across the street and stops running we notice that the shots become longer again. So all together the physical movement (running across the street) but also the mental tension (his decision to react against the bus driver and need to find Allie) are exaggerated by the rhythmic editing dimension.
Desciption from dramatic point of view:
A scene is shown how Allie and Noah spend time together. She runs into him at his work, they cuddle, they double date, tease each other with ice cream and ride on bikes in the woods with Fin and Sara. Allie also meets Noah’s dad and together they eat pancakes even though it’s evening.
This scene is important for the narrative because it shows that Allie and Noah are falling in love and that they are crazy about each other. They are enjoying themselves a lot. This scene also shows how the relationship between Noah and his father is, which is very good, and what a kind man his father is.
Temporal: In this scene we noticed there has been a lot of temporal editing used. Because the dates and experiences Noah and Allie shared are shown quickly afters each other and are all in different locations.
Description from dramatic point of view:
Allie unexpectedly visits Lon at his work in his office. Lon was talking with a few business partners but asks them to leave. Allie talks about the fact that she lately never paints and she misses it. She also tells him she needs wants to get away for a while to clear her head before the wedding. The next frame reveals a car driven away down the road.
Allie fainted when she saw a picture of Noah with her dream house and since that moment she feels weird and starts thinking about her choices lately. While she’s talking with Lon she realises that she never paints anymore and wonders why because she loved to do it in the past. She decides to clear her head before she would commit herself to Lon and therefore she wants to talk to Noah. The last shot with the car that’s drives away from the road is represented as Allie leaving the city and going to Noah.
Spatial: The spatial editing dimension in this scene is when the last frame enters the screen of a car driving away. The suddenly skip between the previous frame and this one is totally different but does make sense because of the content of the scene. She want to get away and because we’ve heard their conversation, we know that it’s Allie in the car of the last frame and she’s leaving town.
Sound and music have a lot of influence of how people interpret a story. It can create emotions and helps people to understand the story. You need to make sure you get the right connection between the music, sounds and the vision. Sounds clan clarify events, contradict them or render them ambiguous. For this assignment about sound and music we chose the same scene we chose for cinematography because we think in this scene we can represent a lot of the concepts of sound and music. Scene description
In the scene itself you see Allie and Noah in a boat. They have to go back to shore because bad weather is coming up. It starts to rain and Noah begins to laugh. Allie and Noah realise how much fun they can have together, but then they also realise they lost each other and the mood changes from happy to confrontational, sad, and angry. When they arrive at the shore, Allie climbs out of the boat onto the dock. She walks away angry while Noah is getting the boat on the dock. Allie turns around and asks angry to Noah why he hasn’t wrote her in all these years. Noah replies he did, that he wrote 365 letters, 1 every day for a year. He tells her that it wasn’t over for him and that it still isn’t over. Then he kisses her.
In the narrative in its whole the scene creates a sense of sadness but also a sense of relieve. Noah takes Allie on a date in a boat and they realise how much fun they have together. But then they realise that they lost each other. Allie gets angry at Noah for not writing her for all these years. Noah tells her he did write her and tells her that it still isn’t over between them and kisses her. Now you get a sort of sense of relieve because they are together again.
Identification categories of sound used in scene and how they contribute to the narrative There are two categories of sound, diegetic and non-diegetic. Diegetic sounds are sounds in the story itself. For example music played in the story itself, a dialogue between characters and synchronous sound in the story. Non-diegetic sounds are sounds in the movie, for instance, music to support the narrative, the voice over from the storyteller or symbolic sounds and sound effects. In the diegetic sounds there are sub categories which are the internal and external diegetic sounds. We are now going to explain the two categories in the scene of the Notebook.
– External: In this scene the external diegetic sounds you hear are the oars in the water of the lake, the thunder coming in, the rain falling out of the sky, the rain spatting on the water, the thunder making hard noises, the sound of Allie climbing onto the dock, Allie walking away on the dock and the sound of Noah getting the boat on the dock. – Internal: in this scene the internal diegetic sounds you hear are Noah laughing, Allie shouting ‘Noah!’ , Allie laughing, Allie screaming and the sound of a dialogue between Allie and Noah. These sounds create a certain sphere and they create emotion. For example the laughing of Allie and Noah, they have fun together but then the thunder comes in. The thunder represents the angriness and sadness when Allie and Noah realise they lost each other. This also creates a dramatic effect in the story. We also see a parallel in this scene. There is contrast between external diegetic sounds and internal diegetic sounds.
The non-diegetic sound you hear in this scene is the music to support the narrative/mood. The music you can hear begins kind of quiet when Allie and Noah are in the boat back to shore but when it starts to rain the music gets louder and creates a sort of happiness and a sense of freedom. The loudness changes. This helps to understand the story and creates emotions. After this the music turns into a more sad kind of state. Here the pitch changes from high to low. This is when Allie and Noah realise they lost each other and they miss each other. It gets more quiet. This also creates emotions and helps to understand the situation and the story. Then the music stops for a little while to get the focus on the dialogue of the characters. After Allie makes her point the music comes up again while Noah talks and it builds up to a climax, which is that Noah kisses Allie at the end of the scene. Unity is created with the images.
In this assignment we explain several Mise en Scene aspects. Mise en scene is very important to help the audience understand the narrative. It refers to everything you can see; ‘the costumes, settings, props, lighting, acting and use of colour’. It creates the perfect balance, visual coherence and cinematic atmosphere. It gives the story the best look and feel possible and visual power. In our movie, The Notebook, we thought that the most outstanding aspects were aspects costumes and make-up & settings and props. These aspects of the Mise en Scene are important in our movie because we noticed them a lot. You can also see or guess in which state of time the story takes place by the use of costumes and make-up and settings and props. So we are going to analyse two scenes we think the two aspects are revealing best.
Our chosen scene is the scene in which World War II begins, Noah and Fin volunteer at the army and Allie is in the third year of college and volunteers as a nurse.
The scène begins with Noah and Fin swearing an oath of the army about fighting for their country and then getting a physical health test by the doctors. First they do their duties abroad and then they have to fight in Europe. Then frames enter the screen where this team of army enters the field and gets bombarded by many plains in the air. Noah shouts for Fin and then he founds his friend dying in the snow. This scene creates sympathy for the character and a sense of sadness. Meanwhile Allie follows classes at her third year of college and volunteers as a nurse for all harmed soldiers. One man she helps to sit up asks her to go on a date when he’s fully recovered. This scene is relevant to the whole story because of two reasons in particular. The first one is to show in what time Noah and Allie live, it’s the time of World War II. The second reason is to show how even though they still think a lot about each other, their lives continue with normal pursuits like work and school.
What is the narrative function & which informational function has this scene in the plot? As we look into the theory of Aristotle (384-322 b.C.) and learn that every good theatre has a set of dramatic structure. Our chosen scene of this assignment belongs to the rising action. This scene is in the rising action because the continue living with the struggle in their minds of living apart from each other. We believe that the moment Allie is fitting wedding dresses, sees Noah in the newspaper and faints is the crisis (reversal) because from this moment she behaves different and decides to talk to Noah. And our scene is just before this moment which makes it clear to be in the rising action. (Lecture slide CO1 Aristotle’s set of dramatic structure)
Costume & make-up
We’ve chosen this particular scene because costumes and make-up are very relevant in our interpretation of what’s happening here, especially in the area of working suits. Let’s start at the beginning of the scene where all men swear their oath and stand in front of a man with a scratchpad. The men are wearing typical poor working clothes of those years which are sloppy simple pants and T-shirts. The man in front of them wears a military uniform. Noah, Finn and their team also wear these military uniforms and helmets in the following shots. This way we interpret their situation more correctly that they’re working in the army. We did some research and found out that the costumes shown in the movie are really similar to the real costumes of the time of WWII. (Military clothes WW2)
(Noah during the war)
The make-up in this scene is especially used for the dust of the hard workers and the pale faces during the war in the cold and most importantly when Fin dies. The faces are a bit whiter than they are in other scenes to make it look more real.
Allie wears typical old-fashion tidy student clothes in her classroom just like her fellow students. We’ve done research of the clothes women wore those days and you can see resemblance in the movie.
(Tidy student clothes around 40’s)(Classes of Allie)
The shots where Allie works as a nurse are very good to interpret because of her typical nurse uniform and all harmed soldiers wear hospital clothes or are clothed with plaster that represents their broken bones. The make-up is very important in these frames because the wounded soldiers must look harmed or sick. The Man Allie helps is completely covered with plaster and his face looks wounded with bruises and scratches by the perfect make-up that has been done here. When we speak of the nurse uniforms we can certainly say the costumes in The Notebook are executed very well. We also did research on these uniforms and saw that they were also very similar to the costumes in the movie. (Nurse ‘Allie’) (Nurses around 40’s) (Make-up of harmed soldier ‘Lon’)
Settings & props
In this scene we are going to analyse the aspect settings and props in the mise en scene. All men swear the oath for the war and they get physically tested. First they have to do their duties abroad and then they have to fight in Europe. Finn gets killed by a bomb attack and Noah needs to go on by himself. The setting of the battlefield is typically for that time of the year because it represents World War II. It is obvious that it is war and the time in which the movie in stated is in the 30’s and 40’s because of these facts we can conclude that the war is WWII. (Picture of a battlefield in World War II )(Battlefield in Europe where Noah and Fin join the army)
You can see the battlefield area, because of the long distance and the snow represents the time of the year. The props are very obvious too. Soldiers carry guns and other weapons to protect themselves. And you see the airplanes in the setting bombing the area where the soldiers are walking. A lot of props contribute to the setting, like the snow, airplanes etc. So the props make the setting and represent the time in this way. After this part of the scene you see Allie in class. A prop that represents the time in where she lives is for example the old school benches and the chalkboard because nowadays most schools have whiteboards and different tables. You also see Allie working as nurse. The setting is ‘made’ by props like the old hospital beds and the hanging boards at the end of the bed. This is a real old fashioned way of keeping files and identifying the patients.