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Some movies have big war scenes with huge musical scores to reflect the big action. One of these film is Braveheart. William Wallace, played by Mel Gibson, is the central character and hero of the movie. He is the motivator of men. He is a leader of men. He rallies his Scottish countrymen to his belief that the English had to be fought and Scotland had to be independent. This film has some huge battle scenes of men fighting hand to hand combat. These scenes are so realistic and dramatic for me to observe to give me a feel of this era of history when war was fought man-to-man. William Wallace is a courageous and heroic figure in this film. He is the one who believes in an independent Scotland and desires to remain free from the English influences from the south. He wants the Scottish to retain their own ways, their own beliefs, and their own cultural traditions separate from the English as long as possible. This movie was suspenseful, dramatic, and entertaining for me from start to finish because of my respect for the central character and hero, William Wallace, as well as the great musical score to reflect the themes, characters, and plot lines more powerfully.
The music for this film is essentially designed to reflect the characters and the plot line. The long warring history of England and Scotland is an important part of the background story to this film. Some of the subtitle text provides insights into this era of time and the background of the relationship between the two peoples and the two kingdoms. The Scottish and English have never really been at peace with each other over the political authority over the territories that comprise Scotland. Even today, there could be debates and disputes found in the pubs in Scotland and England over exactly what the nature of their past relationship is and how it affects their current political relationship. This film provides a living history lesson to that past time period when the Scottish and English warriors fought it out over respect, integrity, and the willingness to lay everything on the line for freedom, independence, and separation from each other. The musical score reflects these themes as the heroic music is felt when Wallace and the Scots are doing their thing, and the tension and oppression of the English is felt when they are present and especially when they are winning the battles.
The Scottish spirit and temperament of this older time period is clearly represented in the film's hero, William Wallace. The music attempts to amplify and magnify his heroic qualities. He is played by famous action hero actor, Mel Gibson, who provides this character with relentless, courageous energy and emotion from start to finish. William Wallace is able to lead his Scottish men into battle with exceptional courage and leadership capabilities. Wallace knows how to give his warriors a serious motivational speech before these battles where the Scottish usually are underdog and at much lower odds to win against the usually superior English in regards to military manpower and military weaponry. Wallace is always fighting undermanned and with less weaponry than his English opponents. Yet, at the same instant, Wallace is fighting with his men for higher, spiritual causes and reasons that put their English opponents often at the actual disadvantage. This motivation and spiritual uplifting energy personified in this central character, William Wallace, is the driving force behind the film's plot and battle scenes. The musical flourishes are always important. The music dominates the action. The music is suppose to make us in the audience feel the action. Wallace makes his men and himself believe that they are capable of taking on any opponent's force of any size and greatness and defeating that opponent because of their brave hearts.
Thus, the music indeed reflects the central theme in this film about English-Scottish history and their long legacy of fighting and warfare that the men with the braver hearts usually won over the men with the better weapons and greater numbers. Because the combat was face-to-face, hand-to-hand, the men with the braver hearts would ultimately achieve victory. The heroic traits of these men are clearly reflected in the intense musical score. William Wallace was aware of thus all important factor of the brave heart when motivating his warriors to fight it out with a more powerful foe. Wallace understands that the brave hearted men in his Scottish forces are going to out fight and out last the English soldiers and warriors as the battles drag on. Wallace knows this is a war that has to be won on the spiritual level first and foremost to be able to achieve victory on the battlefields. This is war that needs to be taken to the next level spiritually and idealistically so Wallace can motivate his Scottish men to believe in themselves no matter how bad it gets and now matter how close defeat approaches. This is a war that William Wallace believes that the Scottish have to will themselves to victory through their brave hearts.
Thus, the musical score in this film was very important for understanding the central character, William Wallace, and his range of emotions from high to low, from good to bad, and how he was always trying to bring out the best in his men. He is able to be the person who can really be a hero and the musical score was able to reflect these heroic qualities, especially the music during the battle scenes.
The music is exotic in this film because of the fact that the central characters in this film are in four different places and settings simultaneously. One of the central characters is Richard. He is the wealthy white American man who has taken his wife to Morocco to save their marriage. Another central character is Richard's nanny, Amelia, who is charge of the two children back in San Diego. A third central character is Chieko in Tokyo, Japan whose father is the one who originally gave the hunting rifle to a hunting guide during a Morocco hunting trip in the past. A fourth set of central characters are the two brothers, Ahmed and Yussuf, who are sons of a goat herder in charge of the goats and shooting jackals with the gun their father Abdulla purchased from Hassan the hunting guide for a good price. These central characters are all in motion at four different places and settings simultaneously. The director does an excellent job in painting the musical score the right way for this plot line, the character development, and the overall mood of the film.
The Morocco setting to start the film offers some traditional music from this region that really does bring an 'exotic' mood to the opening. The two young brothers, Ahmed and Yussuf, are really doing what kids do when given the responsibility of a loaded gun. These young brothers begin daring each other to try shooting things with it besides the intended jackals as their father desired. The two brothers begin shooting at targets to test the gun. Ahmed then turns and shoots at a passing car down on the mountain road. Yussuf, who is a much better shot, takes the gun and shoots at a tour bus coming down the same mountain road in the distance. The boys don't think nothing happened at first, but then the bus slows to a stop. The boys take off running as fast as they can and become worried sick about the accident. They know that someone was probably injured or killed by the gun shot fired by Yussuf who had a good aim too. And they hide the information from their father Abdulla at first because of the great fear of getting caught. This secret becomes even more significant when Abdulla at dinner reveals that an American tourist had been shot on a tour bus in their area. This is something that strikes great fear in the hearts of these two young brothers. In turn, they want to make sure they don't get caught for it. These decisions are typical of two young brothers who look out for each other's back. Yet, when the police investigator comes up the driveway when their father is not around, the boys lie about the location to buy more time for themselves and to permit them the opportunity to tell their father. This tell-all to the father becomes a bad time for the brothers as they fight, turn on each other, and become bitterly mad at each other. The father fears their safety and decides to flee with them and the rifle. The music in the sequence featuring the father and two brothers is very moody and exotic in quality because they are mountain dwellers who live very simple lives. Yet, they are suddenly wrapped up in this awful tragedy.
The traumatic sequence in the film featuring Richard is something that is suspenseful, tense, and tragic in tone and implication because of the musical score accompanying his presence in the story line. The continuous fear in him that his wife will die from the gun shot wound to her neck without any proper medical aid on this village mountain top in Morocco. Richard's character goes through so many different kinds of emotions during his ordeal waiting for the medical helicopter. He has to forge trusting relations with Moroccan villagers, including the village healer, as well as relationships with his fellow bus passengers for a time period to try to get them to see his predicament and his tragedy from his shoes. Richard is a master at getting people to feel like he does and have empathy for his position in this ordeal. The character of Richard teaches us in the film audience the terrifying situation of being face to face with a tragic loss of a loved one. At many points, Richard's wife seems ready to die. This constant on the edge of his seat about her death makes him reflect on many things in his life. He becomes a different kind of man than he was before this shooting incident occurred. The music is tense, moody, and changing all the time during this back and forth situation with Richard and his injured wife. The villagers are trying to help them but they don't have the medical technology necessary to save her. The music becomes sorrowful as Richard faces the reality of her impending death coming soon.
The central character of Amelia, Richard's hired nanny, is another intriguing person for us in the film audience in relation to music and her character development because of her risks and boldness of personality to take Richard's children without his permission to her son's wedding in Mexico. She will not miss her son's wedding no matter what she has to do. These white children are very reluctant to go to Mexico. They are socialized to fear Mexicans and Mexico itself. However, in the sequences of the wedding and wedding celebration, these two white children become happier and more relaxed the more fun they start having with the Mexican children their same age. The music in this sequence of the film is very important and it reflects the good time everyone is having. This is probably the most important musical section in the film.
In watching this film, The Color Purple, my awareness and knowledge of the struggle of the African American people in the Deep South earlier this century was increased significantly. This film's sets, background scenery, music, and characters were all arranged to bring the most dramatic effect on us in the audience. The excellent performance of the actors and actresses was critical to understanding the plot and action, but the musical score provides the emotions and pain felt by these characters.
The protagonist, Celie, is a poor woman with little education who at age fourteen is sexually abused and impregnated by her own father, Alphonso. After she is moved out of her family home, she is forced to marry this widower with several children. This husband is called 'Mister' throughout the play. Celie has to deal with physical abuse from him as well. This play is about Celie's development from a naïve, uneducated woman to a courageous, individual woman who stands up for herself. This musical score in the early part of the film is a tragic one which gives us a feeling about Celie's character. She is facing such awful things and her life is affected by it.
The music becomes stronger as Celie learns to stand up for herself and become a stronger person because of two strong women, Sofia and Shug Avery. These two women prove to Celie that she as a woman must sometimes stand up for herself. For example, in one scene, Sofia, who is Harpo's wife, is fighting back with Harpo. This display of courage and strength by Sofia impresses Celie. In another scene, Shug demonstrates her courage to speak her mind and convey to Celie that a woman can be an independent, fearless creature when wanting to be. In this film, Celie learns from Sofia and Shug how to be an adult woman. Sofia provides the toughness and courage displays against her husband Harpo that impress Celie and make her recognize her need to be more like her. Shug ends up becoming Celie's lover who shows her the joys and pleasures of enjoyable sex between two women which is the opposite kind of sex from what she gets from her husband called 'Mister.' Shug is actually Mister's mistress who comes to live in the household because of poor health. Even though at first Shug is very mean and aggressive towards Celie, the two women began to have a sexual attraction for one another. Furthermore, Shug remains in the household to help protect Celie from Mister's physical abuse. This friendship blossoms into a love relationship which is a central part of the whole play. Celie and Shug are doing the unthinkable for two women living in the same household supposedly both lovers of Mister. These two women are having a lesbian love affair right under the nose of Mister. The musical score during their sexual moments and love moments is very important in the development of Celie's character as she learns to really care about someone else, Shug.
This is a dramatic part of the play because of the forbidden nature of it. I thought the performances of the two actresses for this key scene in the film when the friendship turns into a love affair was excellent. I was on the edge of my seat wondering what was going on. Yet, in a sense, this is what a great film is all about and the music fit the scene perfectly. Celie and Shug have crossed a forbidden line in Mister's household. He has no conception that these two women would be doing this behind his back. He doesn't have a clue but us in the audience know exactly what is going on.
Music plays an important part in this film in developing the realtionships among the characters. One of the more important relationships for Celie that doesn't emerge until the end of the play is with her sister Nettie. Celie has long thought that Nettie may be dead since she never received any letters from her. Celie is introduced to lost letters from Nettie to find out that her sister isn't dead but has traveled to Africa with some missionaries and returned. This discovery empowers Celie to think that her sister was alive the whole time. The musical interludes are very important to show the hopeful mood of Celie. The empowerment from getting to know herself also has something to do with her confronting her abusive husband and telling him off for the years of abuse she endured. At the end of the film, Celie feels her empowerment and independence as a woman. She has the courage to move to Tennessee with Shug Avery and another woman to begin a profitable business sewing tailored pants. Upon her return to Georgia, she has inherited a lot of land from her stepfather and her husband, Mister, has reformed his ways. In the very end, everything comes to right order and Nettie and Celie are reunited.
The music plays out in a happy manner and the film brings these two sisters back together in a happy reunion.
This is an interesting film experience for me because it makes me understand the hardships and struggle of the poor black women of the earlier part of this century in the Deep South. Celie, the protagonist, was an interesting character who had to endure so much pain and so man problems in her life as an African American woman. Although she finds her own identity and empowers herself through her following the two role models of Sofia and Shug, the pain is evident in most of her situations. The musical score was very important for her character development.