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Critical Analysis: Sunset Boulevard

The media industry is one of the oldest industries and it has had different purposes not only in the modern environment but also in the past. The reasons for introducing the industry were to entertain, to educate through documentaries, and to inform through news bulletins. Despite the given changes in the film environment, it is imperative to understand that the purpose and the goals of media have not changed. Films have existed for over three centuries now, and they are much related to the narrative style involved in their production. The modern narration styles are different from the early ages that used the classical style of narration. One of the classical movies that have received high acclamation due to its viewership levels is Sunset Boulevard. The movie uses various classical narration strategies used in the earlier days.

Going through the movie and watching it while paying strict attention to detail, one gets to understand that major attention is paid to the story and not to the storytelling aspect of the movie. In the contemporary environment, a focus is put on the manner in which a story is present and the consequence it has on the story coming out. As in this case, one gets to understand that the tale is the most important aspect of the story and clear evidence of this is the manner in which the person giving the story pays critical attention to ensuring the viewers understand the story and its basis by going through the flashback aspect of the story. The flashback gives one the opportunity to know the story leading to the death of the character.

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Another narrative strategy present in the movie is straightforwardness. When watching the film, one gets to note the manner in which the characters speak their sense and do not waste time explaining their situation or rather what they want. It is this aspect that is absent from the modern films, and this is because of the increased urge by contemporary movie producers to make their movies mysterious so that the viewers can watch them to the end. The modern movies are also laden with a lot of ironies, and not many people can understand some aspects of irony present in the films. It is critical to note that regardless of portraying the aspect of irony in the films, it is possible to create a high grossing and quality performance movie such as Sunset Boulevard. The straightforwardness is also a positive aspect for it enables young viewers and people that lack high understanding traits to enjoy movies. The aspect of classical narration is positive as it ensures fairness along the film.

Failure to identify self is a crucial aspect that all classical films present and it relates to the director. In Sunset Boulevard, the director goes directly to the storyline and immediately offers to the viewers a flashback to understand the concept leading to the story. In modern movies the directors explain various aspects of their work and ensure that they identify themselves with the viewers. Research in the film industry has not yielded quality results on the reason why most of the directors do this, but speculations exist that the sole purpose of this is to attract the interest of the viewers so that they can purchase later films produced by the director. It was a concept which never existed in previous years, and the work of the directors received appreciation without much marketing.

An aspect of classical narration present in the movie is the fact that it does not engage the viewer, because the narration given by the director is directed to the viewer directly and does not engage him or her in any form of communication. An example of this is present in Sunset Boulevard where the director does not give the viewers an opportunity to ask self some questions since as stated before, the director is straightforward in explaining the movie. Despite the given stature of the classical movies, this is not quite a positive aspect because this can make the viewers bored. The irony in itself is not quite positive relating to movie narration but also the director ought to engage the viewers to some level.

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It is also significant to note that the plot present in the classical film such as Sunset Boulevard, is casual and follows a certain procedure. A casual plot enables one to understand the manner in which the story is developed to the very end. The casual plot is also strategic and allows the viewer follow the given movie detail per detail. For example, in Sunset Boulevard, the movie begins by showing the state of a screenwriter found dead in the mansion of a famous actor. In other films out of the classical era, the development of the film would have the viewers in suspense and would get the information on the death of the screenwriter at the end of the movie. However, in this case, the movie proceeds in such a manner that the outline of the plot is stated at the beginning of the story, and the investigation into the death of the screenwriter starts with the viewer knowing that the owner of the mansion is the one that murdered him.

It is also critical to note that the characters in these films are consistent and are recurring. This fact makes it easier for the viewers to understand the plot of the film since they already know the responsibilities that they have. These characters are exposed clearly, which also makes the movies popular among people of different ages. For example, in Sunset Boulevard, the viewers understand that the two main characters in the film are the perceived actor and the screenwriter.

It is important to note that almost all if not all classic films have some conflict within them. In the given movie, the numbers of conflicts present are numerous, and the initial conflict is noted by the death of the screenwriter. As the movie progresses, one gets to see other conflicts present in the flashback and an example of this is the conflict involving the two lovers, Betty and the screenwriter. There is also the conflict of association that the screenwriter goes through as he comes to know that his boss, the faded writer has fallen in love with him but he does not have the same feelings. The conflict presented here is one that makes Norma angry to a point that she slaps him. The number of conflicts presented here is a true representation of the state of movies produced in a classical narrative, and the movie performs this well. The depiction of the conflicts is very different from the modern movies that involve conflicts that do not exist and if some conflicts are present in the film, they are very ambiguous.

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Concentrating on the issue of conflicts present in the classical narratives it is imperative to note that all these narratives get resolved eventually. Their resolution is a positive aspect for it makes the society appear noble in such a manner that no action goes without resolution. As shown in Sunset Boulevard, investigations commence from the murder of Joe Gills, the screenwriter. After going through the appropriate channels, the investigators understand the cause of the murder and the person behind it. Resolution of the conflict of association is also present on the side of Joe Gills, who was initially confused whether he would date Betty who at the time had a husband. However, after learning that she had already stopped loving her husband, Joe does not have mixed feelings and decides to date her, and it is at that point when he goes to confront Norma who then ends up killing him.

Another aspect noted while reviewing these films is the fact that the classical narratives have a specific direction of structuring as compared to modern films. For example, in Sunset Boulevard, the characters have the basic approach of speaking in long sentences. The long sentences ensure that the viewers understand the unfolding events in the movie. The fact that the movie managed to explain to the viewers the direction despite the fact they were of different languages remains the main reason why the film succeeded as much as it did. Sunset Boulevard has the reputation of being one of all time movies and a review of the awards that the movie won is clear evidence of this statement.

Despite the given aspects regarding classical narratives in the film, it is vital to note that all films have a special aspect of containing both classical and modernist narratives. The mixture of narratives makes the movies more interesting and consequently the viewers do not get bored watching them. However, classical narratives are the most preferred methods of narrating in the movies. In the contemporary film industry, people have also sought to introduce the aspect of classical narratives despite the fact that some of the films produced are of the sci-fi nature. However, Sunset Boulevard is the best example of a classical narrative in a movie.

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