Monday, September 15, 2014

Music to Remember


   A Walk to Remember is a movie that traps people in with this weird combination of mixed feelings between sadness and happiness. The music through the entire movie just emphasizes these heavy moments where the audience just feels torn apart and often distraught that there can’t be a happier ending for this couple. The pathos is incredible with the pull at your emotions through such an amazing story of love from two people who came from opposite sides of the spectrum. As Andrea A. Lunsford & John J. Ruszkiewicz write about in Everything’s an Argument, a certain physical feeling is created with an impactful use of pathos as an argument (41). During this movie it seems as if your heart is breaking because of how strong emotions are. Luckily, the writer does a great job of keeping hope in your heart as you see the transformation in Landon throughout. The growth is obvious and your heart is warmed by seeing how far he has come. 

The music is a great addition to the already emotional script. In sad romantic movies like this, music can take it to the next level- the level that makes you forget its a movie and not real life. Music also implies feelings and ideas that the producers don't want to come out directly and say or show as Louis Gianetti talked about in Understanding Movies (207). If it weren’t for music, certain feelings desired form the audience would have to be presented much more obviously to convey what we should think. From scene to scene the perfect music is added to further emphasize the emotions we are supposed to be feeling and the thought we should be having. The way that they kept the music classical fits well with Jaime’s character as she is more a traditional reverend’s daughter that could be thought of as a “plain Jane” as well. 

Towards the end of the movie Landon is still trying to cross things off of Jamie’s wish list. He has slowly worked on a telescope for her to view the stars with, one of the many things he helped her accomplish. As they are on her porch music slowly and quietly starts to come in. This scene is supposed to be one of the final dramatic scenes of the movie. Landon is about to propose to Jaime so the music has to be perfect. It happens to be Switchfoot’s “Only Hope” that quietly makes it way. It starts with just instrumentals. As Landon tells of his love for Jaime the music continues to get a bit louder until finally he proposes. As the audience cues their “aww”s the music intensifies as they hold eye contact, further dramatizing the scene. All of a sudden they kiss. Hearts are warmed and dreams have been filled. Lyrics come in and if you listen to the words you realize just how much this means to Jamie.
So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands
and pray to be only Yours
I pray to be only Yours
I know now you're my only hope
It then transitions to the wedding where as Jaime walks down the isle the tempo picks up and the dynamics increases in the same song. The music is inspiring which is much the theme of the movie. As verses are read and vows are said, a soft piano carries the song on, so the focus is much more on the two love birds. 

Casting Mandy Moore in the lead was genius as well. A great actor and an even better singer. She sings a majority of the songs which helps build the credibility (ethos) of the music and acting in the movie. It also helps with logos because it makes logical sense to someone who sees the preview and has liked Mandy Moore’s acting or singing before, to go see the movie. 

In conclusion, I think the music producers nailed the soundtrack to this movie. I give them five pickles for the way it all connected and played out. The music was never a distraction from the plot only further emphasized the way the viewer should feel. 

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