Short Response Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard, a film from 1950, is a dramatic film. The film is about an ailing silent cinema icon, Norma Desmond, who refuses to acknowledge the end of her fame. She employs a young screenwriter to prepare for her reappearance in the movies. The screenwriter, Joe Gillis, thinks he can control her, but he soon realizes he is mistaken (Wilder, 1950). Due to the screenwriter’s conflicted feelings toward their connection and her refusal to let go, a violent, insane, and fatal event results. The narrative that brings out the drama effect is how Joe was selfish and ambitious that he was willing to take advantage of Norma, who has a mental illness. She could not accept the fact that her acting career was over. Joe gave her the idea that she could still be an actor, and she put all her hopes into the concept.
Joe also used Norma’s situation to make himself get a job at Paramount Pictures. He had an affair with Betty, and when he tried to leave Norma, she slit her wrist. The attempted suicide proved that the relationship between Joe and Norma was toxic, making the film dramatic. When Norma found out about all the lies Joe had been telling, she shot him, and he fell into the pool. When the police arrived, Norma pretended that the shoot for her movie was taking place (Wilder, 1950). This was the climax of Norma’s mental illness and the end of the flashback. The main technical element used in the film is a flashback. A person watching the movie with the many dramatic occurrences could have easily forgotten that the film was based on a flashback until the end.
The narrator in the film is Joe Gillis. He is the one telling the story of the events that took place before he was shot and fell into a pool of a mansion (Wilder, 1950). He uses flashbacks to tell his story. He uses the first person to narrate the story. With Joe being the narrator, the audience watching gets to see his perspective and why he made the choices. We get to see him being young and ambitious. He wants to achieve his dream of being a screenwriter for Paramount Pictures. He is not satisfied with his newspaper job in Ohio. When he meets Norma, he finally sees the opportunity to achieve his dream. He takes Norma’s offer to live with her, and they become lovers (Wilder, 1950). He sacrifices his youth to live with an older woman almost twice his age.
The images support Norma’s character as the film’s mise-en-scène takes place in what appears to be a haunted house. The home is ancient, falling apart, and deserted by the external public, much like her profession and celebrity (Wilder, 1950). Norma’s sole companion is her former spouse and employee Max; the home’s former glory has long since passed away due to the mansion’s current state of deterioration. The lifeless monkey’s symbolism in the film signifies the demise of Norma’s amusing profession. The patterns and mannerisms in the climactic statements contribute significantly to their impact (Wilder, 1950). Additionally, response pictures and fade-ins often accompany Norma’s melodramatic silent-film-like facial features. The downstairs, low lighting, and vintage items only emphasize Norma is tragic and deluded.
Wilder, Bill. (Director).(1950). [Film]. Sunset Boulevard. Paramount Pictures.