"To begin, I often close my eyes and just work on remembering the essence of the film…As long as I can see images and dream, I have enough to begin work," states composer Gabriel Yared. In an article about music and mood, he talks about how he pictures the scene and reflects on how it makes him feel before translating those emotions into a composition. People generally have similar reactions to music, so if the composer creates the soundtrack with specific emotional reactions in mind, it is very likely that the songs will evoke the same emotions in the viewers.
“Something’s Got a Hold on Me,” originally by Etta James, is the song playing during the opening credits. Christina Aguilera pulls a chair up onto a small stage in an empty restaurant. She rests one leg on the chair and then begins to song. Her voice is so powerful. The scene starts out with Aguilera singing by herself, no other singers or instruments, and then switches to several girls, all dressed up, dancing on a stage. When they first show the girls dancing, they bring in background music. Throughout the song, you see more of her singing in the restaurant and more of the girls dancing, as well as Aguilera packing up her stuff, buying a one way ticket to Los Angeles, looking out the window on the bus, and settling into a new apartment in LA. The lyrics of the song include phrases such as, “I never felt like this before,” and “Everything about me seems to have changed.” I think this is the perfect song to play during this part of the movie, because something has come over Aguilera’s character that has given her the willpower to finally leave that town so she can go pursue her dreams.
“Emotional appeals (sometimes called appeals to pathos) are powerful tools for influencing what people think and believe (Lunsford, p. 38). How we feel effects how we think and how we act. During “Something’s Got a Hold on Me,” we are introduced to Ali (Christina Aguilera) and decide what we think of her character. Just from that short scene, we can infer that she lives and works in a small town, but has much bigger dreams. We immediately know that she has an amazing voice, because Christina Aguilera can wail. Watching her take the next step in her life, leaving town and heading to Los Angeles with only one small bag, makes us feel proud of her. We are listening to her sing about making a change in her life, and watching her do it.
During the song “Bound to You,” the romantic connection between Ali (Christina Aguilera) and Jack (Cam Gigandet) grows. The scene begins in silence in a dimly lit room where Ali is about to get ready for bed. Jack walks in and violins begin to play. He walks over to Ali and tenderly kisses her. Then, the scene switches to Ali singing on stage. The low lighting makes the whole scene more romantic. Throughout the song, the movie alternates between romantic scenes of Jack and Ali, such as them lying in bed together with raindrops rolling down the window, and clips of Ali performing. I think that including the clips of Ali singing make this scene more emotional. You can see the emotion all over Christina Aguilera’s face. She looks scared but so in love, which is exactly what the lyrics of the song are saying. “I found a man I can trust, and boy, I believe in us. I am terrified to love for the first time.” She is talking about a previous love that scarred her. She has opened herself up to Jack but she is scared of being hurt again.
I would rate these two scenes 3 out of 3. I think they did a great job of alternating between scenes that further the plot of the movie and clips of Christina Aguilera singing. She is such a talented singer and she shows so much emotion when she sings, which shows the audience how she really feels and effects their emotions.