Shrek, Basic Communication

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  • Topic: Shrek, Film, Lord Farquaad
  • Pages : 5 (1964 words )
  • Download(s) : 275
  • Published : March 8, 2008
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This assignment is to show how an understanding of narrative structures, the ‘language of film', and binary oppositions can contribute to a critical reading of any one film chosen from the list given. In interpreting the purpose of this assignment, I have chosen the feature film "Shrek" to be analyzed. The overall story of Shrek is simply similar to Disney's Beauty and the Beast. It is a romantic story between an ugly-beast with a beautiful Princess, which is setting up as an old kingdom movie packed with hilarious jokes and images. The form of the movie is in 3D animation movie, which is brilliantly created by Dreamworks. In addition, I would like to use this assignment as an opportunity to argue that the genre of Shrek is a romantic fairytale comedy. In term of definition, fairytale is an interesting but highly implausible story. The argument stated in this assignment will be mainly focusing on the genre by analyzing the narrative structure, binary oppositions and the language of film. Narrative is telling a story. Films tell stories. Telling stories is the best way to send information. Narrative structure is how a story is told. According to Todorov (1977) from Film as Social Practice, narrative begins from a stable situation, to a disruption, and to another stable situation. From the feature film Shrek, the first stable situation is basically when Shrek lives peacefully in his swamp. In the opening scene it is shown how he lives his day to day live in his swamp from his taking a shower, eating his dinner, and getting rid of the humans who's trying to kill him. From this, it moves on to a disruption. The disruption here is when the fairytales creatures invaded his swamp because of the evil Lord Farquaad has kicked them out from their place. This leads Shrek on his adventures to save Fiona, a beautiful princess that is trap on a giant Castile guarded by an undefeated dragon in order to get rid of the fairytales creatures from his swamp. The ending, which is the other stable situation, is a little bit different from the first one. The ending shows that all the fairytales creature are now live in the swamp altogether with Shrek and Princess Fiona. Here, it shows the changes of situation as in binary oppositions form from alone to jointly, quite to loud, and loner to a society individual. At first, Shrek is a loner and actually did not like to have anybody in his swamp. But at the end, he found himself living happily together with the all of them. The best thing about Shrek is that it combined different kinds of fairytale in to one movie. At the scene when all the fairytale creatures lined up to sell their stuff to the Lord Farquaad's army shows many fairytale stories there. There was Pinocchio, the three pigs, Tinkerbelle from the fairytale Peter Pan, and so on. Most of the part it has the same ingredient as the Disney's fairytale Beauty and the Beast. According to Levi Strauss (1955: 1966), the feature of mythologies is their dependence upon binary oppositions. From this point if view, I feel that fairytale is the same. Most of the fairytales around, there are always the element good against evil. In Shrek, it is shown that the ‘good' is the character Shrek and the ‘evil' is the character Lord Farquaad. Good against evil is not the only binary oppositions that can be picked up in the movie. Binary oppositions, according to O'Shaughnessy's Media and Society p.126-130, is that how everything has an opposition, or there are two sides of them. Binary means two. It's all about dividing things into two, negative or positive, yes or no. Binary oppositions help to analyze further about narrative structure. It also helps to understand the genre better. In the movie Shrek, I would like to analyze binary oppositions from the scene where Princess Fiona's fight against Robin Hood and the Mary Man. This scene starts from when Princess Fiona grabbed by Robin Hood and carried to a tree up until Shrek and the donkey stunned when they...
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