In the Mood for Love - Research Paper on Melodrama

2021-07-21 12:41:11
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Wesleyan University
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Research paper
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Melodrama is a moving theatrical piece where actions are accompanied by music, and it involves hyperbolic characters with exciting events meant to charm the emotions of the viewer. Melodrama can be traced back to the Victorian era where orchestra music and the band was used to accompany the actions. It is characterized by exaggerated emotions, moral opposition, use of final concurrence and exciting activities for instance thrills, violence among others. In the Asian and Hispanic countries melodrama is the first genre although it is not widely used in the western world. The style uses the crisis of human sentiments, for instance, failed passion and friendship. The heroic characters or protagonists are subjected to a lot of emotional turmoil and agony they are faced with a lot of pressure threats, strained family relationships, tragedy disease, and confusion among other human feelings of despair. In the mood for love is a film that opens up with Mr. Chowan who is a journalist and his wife moving to a new apartment in Hong Kong but his wife is often business going for business trips. Chowan is left all by himself, and he experiences a feeling of loneliness. On the same day, Su a secretary in a shipping company moves to the neighboring apartment. The two families became friends but each one of them has spouse whole leaves them behind to go for business errands. They realize that their spouses are cheating on them and having a romantic affair with each other. Upon realizing that their spouses cheat on them each one nurse their wounds on their own. They started a bond when Chowan invited Su to help him write a martial art series and this issues raise the attention of neighbors because of Su's constant absence in her room. For privacy, Chowan rents a room far away from the place they stay to calm the intense suspicion. The paper will, therefore, analyze how the film in the mood for love is a melodrama.

Firstly in the mood for love is a melodrama because it has music that accompanies the actions in the film. Wong uses three types of music from three different videos and this a significant element of a movie that is melodramatic. One of the music used is Adagio from Wong Kar-Wai's movie know as 2046, the other which forms the central theme is from the chines film called Hero by Zhang Yimou and finally the Yumeji's piece Shigeru Umebayasi. The music has been used to bring a sense of love and a romantic atmosphere. For instance in one of the songs that the singer states that she has bored her head down so that the lover can come closer but he cannot because he lacks the courage to do it. It implies that the Su has bowed her head down so that Chowan can come closer but He cannot because he does not have the courage due to respect for customs and traditions of not cheating against his wife. The beat and the tone of the music brings a sense of romance mixed with sadness from the pain of seeing ones spouse cheating.as the relaxed and romantic music plays it triggers emotions of anxiety and a romantic mood.

Secondly, the film is also a Melodrama because it entails powerful romantic emotions between couples and non-couples. The sense of romance is so high that the viewer cannot fail to recognize the feeling of love in the film. For instance, when Chowan's wife is busy with her business trips she leaves her husband behind who becomes so lonely and feels empty because his wife is not around him to give the love and romance that he desires. On the other hand Su, the secretary of a shipping company is also left by her husband who goes out on business issues. She feels lonely because she misses the company of her husband. The scenario implies that there is a strong attachment between each couple but loneliness creeps in because there is no time created for one another. It is a pathos appeal that triggers the emotions of any viewer because it puts them in a situation where they are touched by the loneliness of the two actors that are left by their spouses. On the contrary, when the lonely actors realize that their spouses are cheating on them they start to develop a need for avenging against them by also being in love and sharing a moment of romance which might take away their loneliness. They begin by Chowan inviting Su to help him in creating a martial art, and the romantic feeling is triggered though they are afraid because of the customs and traditions binding them. Similarly, Chowan's wife and Su's husband are genuinely in love and romantic mood. As they go for their business trips, they go out to have fun together. They are suspected because the time of leaving the apartment is almost the same implying that they tag along as they go for their trips. It is a high indication that love and the romantic feeling is depicted.

Thirdly, the characters are archetypes and represent both good and evil. For instance, Chowan's wife and Su's husband are archetypes of immorality. It is because despite them being married they still have an affair outside their marriage, and this depicts moral decadency regardless of the traditions and customs that call for faithfulness in the society. They, therefore, represent evil in the community and the viewer can be able to tell that what is being done is wrong. On the other hand, the partners are afraid to be in a romantic affair at the beginning because they are afraid to break the customs this shows a sense of self-discipline amid temptations to have a passionate relationship. They are an archetype of good morals.

Additionally, there is a hero and a heroine who make the movie so enjoyable and draws the attention of the viewer. In the film in the mood for love, the cheating couple is not the center of attention because as much as they cheat much of their actions are not revealed.Chowan and Su are a feature throughout their activities and the stress they go through from the time they start to feel the need to revenge to the time they begin to have emotions of romance and the desire to sleep together. They are featured to bring the element of heroism in them. Besides, the arrangement of the residence is made in such a way that Chowan and Su become neighbors and in the middle of their loneliness they can see each other and try to link up in finding solace.it is melodrama illustrated in mise-en-scene. It makes the situation of being tempted to have erotic affair to be real because the two actors are left alone and within the neighborhood.

On the contrary, the film has deviated from the traditional definition of a genre because firstly the hero and the heroin are portrayed as villains and are not directly feature to represent their role. The hero and heroine are Chowan and Su though thy play a role that looks like that of other characters yet they are the stars in the film. Besides, the paths do not lead to making the viewer guess what might happen in the end as the writer does not portray this feature through the characters. It eliminates the setting of servants who help the heroin in passing the needed information to the hero or heroine in the setup. Besides, the villains are not explicitly depicted as in the traditional definition of melodrama.

It is important to note that the film in the mood for love is a melodrama because it carries the features of the genre in performance plot and mise-en-scene. The style uses the crisis of human sentiments, for instance, failed passion and friendship. The heroic characters or protagonists are subjected to a lot of emotional turmoil and agony they are faced with a lot of pressure threats, strained family relationships, tragedy disease, and confusion among other human feelings of despair. In the mood for love is a film that opens up with Mr. Chowan who is a journalist and his wife moving to a new apartment in Hong Kong but his wife is often business going for business trips. Chowan is left all by himself, and he experiences a feeling of loneliness. On the same day, Su a secretary in a shipping company moves to the neighboring apartment. The two families became friends but each one of them has spouse whole leaves them behind to go for business errands. They realize that their spouses are cheating on them and having a romantic affair with each other. It depicts a state of melodrama genre because Wong has used stereotyping on the behavior of the characters. Similarly, the emotional appeals are so tangible that the viewer can easily relate to a real-life situation. The emotional turmoil that the figures depict upon being hurt brings out the element of romance. Similarly, Wong uses three types of music from three different videos and this a significant aspect of a film that is melodramatic. The music, emotions and the whole setup portrays the use melodrama genre. In the Asian and Hispanic countries melodrama is the first genre although it is not widely used in the western world. The style uses the crisis of human sentiments, for instance, failed passion and friendship. The heroic characters or protagonists are subjected to a lot of emotional turmoil and agony they are faced with a lot of pressure threats, strained family relationships, tragedy disease, and confusion among other human feelings of despair

 

Works Cited

Cook, David A. A history of narrative film. WW Norton & Company, 2016.

Mercer, John, and Martin Shingler. Melodrama: Genre, style, and sensibility. Columbia University Press, 2013.

Wong Kar Wai in the mood for love retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0Q1bHqQT0E (1963)

 

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