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Carol - trailer analysis

Carol - trailer analysis

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Carol - trailer analysis

  1. 1. Therese, a young department- store clerk in 1950s Manhattan, meets Carol, a beautiful older woman stuck in a depressing marriage of convenience. As their bond deepens and they become romantically involved, Carol finds the strength to leave her husband. Unfortunately, her spouse starts to raise questions about her fitness as a mother when he realizes that Carol's relationships with her best friend Abby and Therese are more than just friendships.
  2. 2. The genre of the film is executed perfectly in the trailer with balancing the footage with shots of old-fashioned buildings and period clothing referencing to it being a period drama since the film is set in the 1950s and it being a romantic film, due to the subtle connection and chemistry between the film’s two primary characters, Carol and Therese. Since the film revolves around a lesbian relationship in the 1950s, their romance and love for each other is portrayed through the trailer in a subtle and discreet way, which ties in with the genre of forbidden romance and or star-crossed lovers, referencing to a pair of lovers who are not meant to be together by society’s conformities, in this case them being both women. The forbidden love between Carol and Therese is additionally personified through Carol’s narration, which is directed towards Therese and talks about how “there are no accidents”, referring to their first meeting, which is a common trope used in star- crossed lovers stories. The trailer does portray the genre of a period film exceptionally, such as the bland colour tone used throughout the old-fashioned buildings shown. As well, the production design among the interiors of such places like Carol’s house, a restaurant and a department store, clearly represent the 1950s setting, the film is trying to recreate.
  3. 3. The trailer’s focus on characters are of Carol and Therese and their forbidden love. This is especially personified throughout the trailer with Carol’s narration, which is directed towards Therese. This creates a passion among both of them, which exaggerates just how strong the bond between them is. In addition, the longing glances between both Carol and Therese, further show how their romance in this film is the key aspect of the story. Once the narration speaks “and then it changed”, there is this sudden conflict and the revelation arises that this love which Carol and Therese so desperately want is not possible, due to the societal norms of the 1950s and that Carol is married with a husband who is ruthless and dislikes the fact that she is a lesbian. In addition, throughout the trailer there are some secondary characters, which have some importance, such as Carol’s arrogant husband and her daughter, which is what her husband is saying he’ll take away from her if she continues to be romantically involved with Therese. When her husband says, “It shouldn’t be like this”, Carol replies back with, “I know”, which shows that even Carol knows that this romance between her and Therese cannot be, which further strengthens the fact that this bond between them is powerful and shows them as star-crossed lovers.
  4. 4. The location of the film is given throughout the trailer, which is 1950s New York. With old-fashioned cars, high-end clothing and period settings of places like restaurants and inside Carol’s house, the location and setting is perceived very well to make the film look like it was set in that era. The mise-en-scene is also shown among the opening shots of the trailer, which is the department store where Carol and Therese meet for the first time. The scenery among the store is full of Christmas decorations and presents, most likely since the film is set at that time of the year. This gives a sense of joy and illumination in the first seconds of the trailer. Among the toys, there are old-fashioned dolls and a train set, which were popular in that era. There are various shots in the trailer, that show that the film is set in New York, such as the exterior scenes where you can see yellow taxi cabs and large buildings. When Therese takes a photograph of Carol she is using an old-fashioned camera, which further emphasizes how the film is set in the 1950s. In addition, the detailed clothes of all the characters shown throughout the trailer, does show how the film is a period piece set in the 1950s.
  5. 5. Throughout the trailer the clothes worn by Carol, Therese and the other secondary characters, it is clear to see that the film is set in the 1950s, since they are all wearing 1950s-styled clothing. Since Carol is a wealthy New York socialite, the clothes she wears are luxurious and lavish, such as her brown fur coat which is seen various times throughout the trailer and her numerous fancy dresses, which make her look extravagant upper class. Whereas, Therese wears more domestic clothes since she is working class. The clothes, which are worn by her through the trailer, are long cotton shirts with vests, turtlenecks and skirts. As well, she wears a matching scarf and burette, which look cheap. The makeup worn by Carol is very bright and vibrant, since the majority of it is red, ranging from her red lipstick to her red fingernails, which makes her stand out. Therese’s makeup is more natural and uses maroon lipstick and brown eye shadow. The two men who appear in the trailer are Carol’s husband and Therese’s friend. They are both wearing fedoras and long brown overcoats.. The colour and lighting among the trailer of Carol has hints of a mellow green and light scarlet red. The expressive power of the colours gives a sensual flair towards how the trailer looks and feels.
  6. 6. The film was shot on grainy, 16-mm. film, in order to create a vintage effect and to make the film seem old-fashioned. There is a pan shot in the opening seconds of the trailer of the department store where Carol and Therese first meet. This shows the importance of the place in the film. This frame fades to Carol and as it does there is a gleam of bright lights on the left side of the frame, which gives a illusion-like fantasy to what Therese is seeing. There are various two shots of Carol and her husband which is the conflict among the trailer, where they are either fighting or Carol is distressed that he is threatening her. These are important towards the film to show how the relationship between Carol and Therese does not just involve the two. The film’s main visual trope is the camera angles of characters seen through the glass of car windows and apartment windows that are spattered with raindrops, streaked with reflections of sky glare and streetlights. This is done for effect so that the representation of the characters can be seen as not clear, but rather obstructed which contains parallels with the story of the film. There are an abundance of shot reverse shots between Carol and Therese as they exchange longing looks, which emphasizes the love and admiration between them as a couple. This is either done with medium shots or extreme close ups.
  7. 7. The titles and credits used throughout the trailer consists of mellow green text in caps in a simple font against a plain background. This is most likely so that it is easy to read. The credits range from reviews about the film to the cast and crew. The credits fade on and off the screen. The music in the background is non-dietetic and features a piano version of the song ‘Where We Met’ by Immediate Music. The song fits into the film’s genre which is a forbidden love set in the 1950s, since it is slow and the piano accompanies the romance so well between Carol and Therese. The reason there are reviews within the trailer is so that the audience can understand how other people enjoyed the film. For example, it says ‘A MASTERPIECE’, which shows how the Evening Standard holds the film in high regard. Towards the end of the trailer, it shows ‘ACADEMY AWARD WINNER – CATE BLANCHETT’ and ‘ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE – ROONEY MARA’, on the screen in a large text. This is so that the audience watching whom either likes the actresses in the film or like prestigious awards would enjoy watching the film.

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