Thursday, January 31, 2013

Remember the Titans

Without music, movies would be unable to convey their message thoroughly to the audience. Remember the Titans is an excellent example of a movie that uses powerful songs to convey the pathos and logos of the movie. One of the most powerful scenes of the movie is at the very end when the team, both black and white, is standing over a fallen teammate’s grave singing, “Na na na na, na na na na, hey, hey, hey, goodbye.” This is the ultimate climax of the movie because it shows how the team overcame the crippling racism that once ran rampant throughout their Virginia town.
            This scene is especially powerful, because the team is singing the song not the original band. According to Louis Giannetti, “Music can serve as a kind of overture to suggest the mood or spirit of the film as a whole,” (Giannetti 213). This ending scene serves to hit the pathos of the movie perfectly. Throughout the movie, there are countless racially charged scenes that leave the viewer in despair. While those scenes help create the realism of the drama of the era, this ending scene shows that love conquers all and truly appeals to the emotions of the audience. The song although powerful on its own, cannot truly convey the message that love conquers all. Even without the music the scene would have been a powerful ending to the movie with both black and white holding hands together as one. However, with the music added, we see a truly new side that brings tears to the audience’s eyes. Emotions in movies help connect the audience to the movie making it a more realistic experience. Boaz Yoakin, the director, truly plays to the realism of dark history of America by showing the dark days with the light at the end of the tunnel. The light at the end of the tunnel is the team, together, singing a song in honor of one of their own. Without the song, the scene would have had an empty emotion leaving the audience wanting more.  
            The ending scene shows Julius Campbell, one of the black players, holding hands with Mrs. Bertier, one of the most racist characters throughout the movie. This plays to the logos of the audience. Remember the Titans is the ultimate redemption story with the beginning showing these boys barely being able to tolerate each other and the end showing them all singing together over a fallen teammate. By showing Mrs. Bertier overcoming her racism towards Julius plays to the logos of the audience and proves the overarching theme that love conquers all. This plays to the audience’s logos because it shows the theme working in even the most hardened of the characters such as Mrs. Bertier. According to Andrea A. Lunsford, “ When your facts are compelling, they may stand on their own,” (Lunsford 60). By showing Julius and Mrs. Bertier holding hands while singing the moving song the director, Boaz Yoakin, was able to show the simple fact and theme of the movie that love conquers all and he did so in a completely logical way. By appealing to the logic of the audience and showing Mrs. Bertier and Julius holding hands while singing, Boaz Yoakin is also able to end the movie on a final emotional note. He uses real human beings singing together to illustrate that through love we can accomplish anything.
            Music is a necessary part of film. Remember the Titans is a classic example of the effective use of music in movies to drive home the main point and appeal to the emotions and logic of the audience. By singing together at the end in a time of sorrow the movie illustrates through music and through the love of each character towards one another that love conquers all. Without the players singing the message of the movie would not have hit home nearly as hard.

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