Running head: THE NOTEBOOK The Notebook This paper will analyze the movie “The Notebook” directed by Nick Cassavetes. Different elements of analyzing the film will be examined. These elements will be discussed in detail with examples provided. The elements being discussed are as follows: intent, story, plot and meaning, theatrical elements, cinematography, editing, sound, and the summary. The filmmaker’s intent in the movie “The Notebook” is to make the story believable. Throughout the movie you can feel the love and passion the main characters have for each other. “The Notebook” is one of the most loveable movies.
It’s so vivid that you almost feel like being there right next to the main characters. It’s a very touching story of true love and how Noah and Allie overcome their different social classes to be reunited, and be together happily ever after. There are some important sub themes that can be appreciated throughout the movie such as: class differences, love triangle, betrayal, decision making, and loss of memory. The moral of the story is that true love can overcome any obstacle. The two main characters of the movie are Noah and Allie. They meet in 1940 at a carnival in Seabrook Island, South Carolina.
They spent a magic summer together and fall deeply in love with each other, and make plans for their future. Noah comes from a very humble family; Allie on the other hand comes from a very wealthy family. Allie’s parents didn’t like Noah since we was not wealthy like them. Allie’s disapproving parents ban her from seeing Noah again, and they were both devastated. They had no choice but to move on with their lives. Allie goes to New York to attend college, and Noah enlists to go to World War II. Allie becomes a nurse for wounded soldiers. There she met a wealthy lawyer named Lon Hammond, and soon they become engaged.
Noah comes back from war to realize that his father had sold their house so that Noah could buy the Windsor plantation. Meanwhile Allie was planning her wedding to Lon. One day when Allie was trying her wedding dress on she stumbled across an article in the newspaper about Noah completing the Windsor plantation just like they had imagined one day. She decides to go back to Seabrook to visit Noah. They realize that even though they had moved on with other relationships, they still loved each other very much. In the end Allie chooses Noah and they spend the rest of their life’s together. The Notebook” reflected on the romantic acts of love, loss, problems and the overcoming of those problems. Meanwhile the overall environment of the movie focused on the theme of love. While the over used small town from the south is presented in this American film. It proved to have high regards as a great love story. This shows that the actors succeeded the film, while the environment illuminated the performance. A great love story through film is hard to make such as horrors. To give the audience of both genders a feeling of romance is an art that one is blessed with.
In our personal opinion from the experience of this film, all of the pieces were placed as well as it could relate to the novel. The film also got very positive feedback. This film is a work of art in the romantic world and will continue to influence the romantic artists for years to come. “The Notebook” used several forms of photographic techniques throughout the movie. The movie focused on the relationship between Noah and Allie, and thus the techniques supported this type of film. One of the cinematic points of view predominantly used was the subjective camera angle throughout the movie.
The movie consisted of a lot of dialogue between the two primary characters. As such, there were many over the shoulder angles, and pure subjective angles from one of the characters’ perspective. This placed the viewer as a participant in the movie where facial expressions had a bigger impact. The effect was dramatic as the viewer was given a perspective of being in the same position as the characters. An example of this was the scene where the primary characters Noah and Allie were laying in the middle of the street. When they were dialoguing together, the camera angle put you right on the street with them and looking to the side.
It provided the viewer with the feel and emotion of lying in the street with Allie and Noah. Two of the more cinematic moments of the film both took place with the primary characters in the scene. The first was when Allie returned to Noah years later, and they were taking a canoe ride on the water. It was an extremely dramatic arrangement to have all of the birds on the water surrounding them. The colors, sounds, and camera angles provided a surreal experience to the viewer. The second cinematic moment took place at the very end when the adult Noah and Allie lay peacefully on the bed, holding hands and presumably had passed away.
The lighting was as such that they were depicted as extremely peaceful and very much in love to the very end. The majority of camera angles in the film composed the characters in close-up and focused shots. This helped communicate the theme of the movie which was essentially about true love. True love was communicated throughout the movie by sharply focusing on characters’ faces and expressions. This involved many close-ups and also round soft shapes. In the opening scene, a Ferris wheel is used as the location where Noah first attempts to ask Allie out on a date.
Perhaps the curved lines are used to communicate sensuality. Several times, close-up shots were used on Allie’s mother to show here resentment and disappointment about Noah. The facial expression clearly communicated how she felt about Allie’s choice of partner. Capturing the cinematic moments of the film involved different type of camera movement. Panning and fixed camera positions dominated the movie. However, the fixed camera position would often zoom into the primary character to capture their emotion. This was very effective in communicating no dialogue was taking place.
The picnic table scene where Noah is meeting Allie’s parents involved panning. However, when Allie’s parents were observing them on the lake, it involved a fixed camera that zoomed to capture their emotion. “Film editing is often referred to as ‘invisible art’ because when it is well-practiced, the viewer can become so engaged that he or she is not even aware of the editor’s work” (Film Editing, 2009). In the film “The Notebook” the editor has done a tremendous job at editing the film by selecting and joining the best shots together to create this wonderful romantic drama.
The film takes us on a journey of a young couple falling in love during the early 1940’s. The story unfolds as an elderly man named Duke reads a love story from his notebook to a fellow female patient in a nursing home. There are multiple editing techniques used throughout this film including the use of different cuts, rhythms, flashbacks, slow motions, montages and transitions. The editing technique that was predominantly used in this film is the use of flashbacks. The film starts in a nursing home with Duke reading a love story to Allie and then the film change to the 1940’s, howing the viewers the actual love story itself. The film goes back and forth between Noah and Allie’s love story and the nursing home. The film uses flashbacks as a seamless editing technique. The different types of cuts used in the film included form cuts, jump cuts and parallel cuts. An example for the use of parallel cuts is when the film shows Allie’s relationship developing with Lon, while it also shows Noah fixing the house he had promised Allie, during the same time frame. The editor’s use of slow motion was used when Noah sees Allie for the irst time at the carnival to stretch the moment to intensify its emotional quality. It was also used when Allie and Lon were dancing together. Montage was used to show the relationship building between Noah and Allie as well as with Allie and Lon. The uses of transitions were minimal but we did observe the use of dissolve twice towards the end of the film. The first time is after Duke is viewing some old photos of his life with Allie. The second was after the nurse finds that Allie and Duke have passed away together holding hands and the screen slowly dissolves to a flock of birds flying away.
Both of these transitions signal the viewers of a major change in the film. The editor is effective in manipulating the viewer’s feelings throughout this film by the rhythms he creates. The different types of takes used are established by the editorial cutting. “The cutting speed of each scene is determined by the content of that scene, so that its rhythm corresponds to the pace of the action, the speed of the dialogue, and the overall emotional tone” (Boggs & Petrie, 2008). The viewer experiences excitement when quick takes are used and a calm or relaxed feeling is obtained when the editor uses long takes.
An example of a long take was when Noah and Allie were walking down the street at night alone, talking to one another and getting to know each other. Visible sound is used throughout the movie “The Notebook”. In the beginning of the movie they show a scene from the carnival. You can hear sounds from all the rides and from the people and children screaming and laughing. The next major sound they show is Noah working in the lumberyard. Every time the scene comes up you can see Noah and the workers working and you can hear the sounds of the different machinery and the sounds of wood being cut with saws which matches the visual.
Many of the homes in the 1940’s had wooden flooring. In the scenes where there are people in houses you can hear them walking, running, or just shuffling around with their feet, which also matches the visual. These are the major visual sounds that are heard throughout some of the scenes of the movie. Invisible sound is used in this movie a few times throughout different scenes. When Allie brings Noah home and her parents are talking about him while he is in the other room it shows a close up of his face but the sounds of Allie’s mother screaming how Noah is trash is heard.
Another example is when Noah has his first heart attack and they show the house and you can hear the nurse say good morning to him and he has no response because he is passed out. The nurse screams and the whole time you are just looking at the front of the hospital but only hearing sound coming from the nurse. These are two examples of invisible sound used in “The Notebook”. Music is used minimally in the movie and does not play a huge role. In “The Notebook”, it is used in the beginning during the carnival scene to set the mood. Then music is used when each scene has something dramatic happen.
Music always helps get you into what is going to happen or puts you in tune with what is happening. It makes you feel connected with the movie. “The Notebook” is overall an excellent movie. There are a lot of memorable scenes that help the audience relate to the movie. The scene that takes place on the lake in the boat with white ducks all around them is great with the color and emotions. The other scene when Allie returns to Noah with suitcases in hand. She has decided to follow her heart; this was the part that communicated to the audience that love conquers all. Noah and Allie found their way back together no matter what life handed them.