Analysing Trailers…’Eat Pray Love’

Posted: July 8, 2010 in Media

(Above: A poster for the new film, starring Julia Roberts)

The trailer we analysed is featured below…

Genre…

Generally the trailer makes the genre quite hard to figure out. At first it seems like a typical romance film with a hint of comedy perhaps- implied through dialogue involving relationships and weddings but then it confuses the viewer by indicating the film will not revolve around a dominant love genre. As the trailer builds up we realise the film may be more about one single person discovering themselves and who they are rather than a couple and their relationship- so maybe a self-discovery film instead of just your typical romance or Rom Com (if this genre even exists..??).

Narrative…

The narrative conveyed in the trailer is quite straightforward. We know it is based around a female protagonist who has an ordinary life full of love and romance- which is implied through the scenes of weddings and photos of her with a man who she is clearly in a relationship with. This equilibrium then seems to be disturbed by the protagonist breaking up with her partner and in the mean time having  a big realisation that she has never had any time to discover herself as she has always been ‘with a guy’ or ‘breaking up with a guy’ and says she ‘needs to change.’ It is here we, the audience, then hear that the protagonist intends to do just that and talks about travelling to all kinds of different places and spending a bit of time by herself. We then wonder what she will discover about herself, the world and maybe if she even finds a new love interest on the way there too.

USP…

Would definitely be the fact the leading lady is actress Julia Roberts, who is very popular world wide and likely to bring in audiences just with her name alone attached to it. The reason for this is her contribution to many well loved Rom Coms such as ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ and ‘Pretty Woman’ which are worldwide successes and have made her a well known name to film audiences everywhere, so naturally anyone who has seen any of these films or others she’s acted in will be likely to want to go see this one and see if it is as good as the previous films she has appeared in. Another big USP is the fact the film is based around a best selling book which was widely popular so naturally people who feel in love with the book are likely to go see the on screen interpretation and judge whether it matches up to the book itself. 

Target Audience…

Well I’m pretty sure this is aiming more at women than men. The protagonist is female, and very independent, probably meaning that there may not be many male characters in the film itself and therefore men will have no one to relate to or connect with. Also, this film feels like more one  a woman would enjoy as it is about self discovery, love and most likely to have a little bit of drama in it too, which I think men might not enjoy as stereotypically they prefer action/adventure/thriller films more. I think it would probably be aiming specifically at middle aged women as the main character is around this age and audiences at the same age would be able to relate to the problems the character is going through in this stage of her life while younger teenagers may not understand what she is going through. 

Music…

Generally the music was very light hearted and uplifting- connoting that the film itself will follow this same route. It sounds as if the film will not scare the audience nor have upsetting scenes but will instead take them on a life changing and uplifting journey about one woman’s story of how she tried to discover who she was. I am pretty sure that a track featured in the background of the trailer was a song by ‘Florence and the Machine’ named ‘Dog days are over’ which puts quite a modern twist on it and gives audiences today something to familiarise themselves with even if they haven’t read the book. Here’s some of the lyrics I extracted from the song which I think helps reflect how the trailer is trying to make the audience feel:

Happiness / hit her / like a train on a track
Coming towards her / stuck still / no turning back
She hid around corners / and she hid under beds /
She killed it with kisses and from it she fled /
With every bubble she sank with a drink /
And washed it away down the kitchen sink.

Happiness / hit her / like a bullet in the back
Struck from /a great height
By someone /who should have known better / than that

Run fast for your mother / run fast for your father
Run for your children all your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind
You can’t carry it with you / if you want to survive

The song connotes the fact the protagonist is leaving things behind, perhaps will find happiness and there may be a significant person who helps her find this happiness..but we can’t know for sure untill we watch the actual film.

Camera…

As always, camera shots were on a wide variety. There were many close ups of the main character to help establish her importance within the film and get the audience to focus their full attention on her. It also helped show her emotions at various times in the film and made us wonder why she was feeling this way and what had happened to her, making us wantto watch the film to find out. There were also a few shot reverse shots to show conversations between the characters and the relationships they had, such as the one where we realise that the main character intends on leaving and another character remarks ‘You’re leaving?!’ which then leads us to wonder how different character’s will react within the film to this disruption in the equilibrium. I also liked the use of a 360 degree pan  around the protagonist when she is meditating, perhaps connoting spiritual themes and that she will discover her inner self on this journey she is partaking in.

Pace…

Overall the trailer was quite slow paced to begin with and then kind of built up with a montage of shots when the disturbance in the equilibrium was established to the audience. This helped create a little bit of tension in the audience as they witnessed lots of shots of things that she does on this journey at different times but we don’t know what the final outcome will be. I think it ended on quite a quite slow pace again as we saw her meet a new character and we are left with her talking to him and we feel as though her may have some importance on the plot itself but we are left not knowing how.

Dialogue…

Dialogue was important within the trailer. It helped give us information on all kinds of things, such as genre, themes and character roles etc. For example, we are fooled into thinking this film will be a Rom-Com through characters saying things like ‘money’ ,’friends’, ‘teach’ and ‘accept the life you have’ which connotes a lighthearted romantic comedy as these are the things they usually include within heir films and trailers also.  But then this is changed when we hear the main character protest that she needs ‘to change’ and ‘deal with myself’ and says she is ‘searching’ for something. This disturbs the happy and peaceful equilibrium we are given to begin with and we begin to wonder whether this plan will work out for the character and if it does, will she find what she was looking for?

Voice Over…

There isn’t one. I don’t think so anyway…I think a voice over might take away this realistic feel the trailer is trying to creat. Afterall it is trying to reach out to audiences who are going through the same process as the main character and this means if it has a voice over it might take away this realistic theme the trailer conveys to us.

Special Effects…

I don’t think there’s any of these either. As I’ve said before, special effects are usually used in trailers only if they are required to sell the film, which is usually only for horrors, sci fi’s, adventures, actions and genres like these. So a film about self discovery will not need these things as it is intended to be about people and their relationships with others and more importantly, themselves. Featuring special effects in a trailer like this would look out of place and would put people off going to see the actual film.

Credits and Intertitles…

The titles were actually not as important as other aspects but did give us a little info. on the themes of the film, such as:‘Sometimes you have to risk everything…’ – addresses the audience directly, connecting them to the film and grabbing their attention. Black on white background is also different to usual conventions of trailers, as it is usually the other way round. This could signal that the film is unique and different to others and is breaking the rules- making the audience want to see it more. ‘risk everything’ also helps signal the disruption in the equilibrium and makes us wonder what will happen to the protagonist…will she lose everything??‘And let yourself go…’ – again, this addresses audiences personally and tells us a bit about the narrative- the main character is planning to escape her usual life and find out more about herself.’Based on a true story…’ makes the film more interesting and also adds to this realistic feel the trailer is making this film out to be. It also makes audiences feel more connected as they feel they can really connect to this film as it has really happened to someone and isn’t just a story.‘Eat Pray Love’- lastly, the title of the film. At the end as always to leave people waiting to see what the film is called. Connotes different areas of life being explored and that the character will go through all of these things on her journey of self discovery throughout the film.

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