Sunset Boulevard

Reaction to Sunset Boulevard

Sunset Boulevard is a film unlike any other I have ever seen in the past. I say this because other films I have seen rely more on the actors, and actresses to do the work of making a scene dramatic, or to leave an impact on the viewer. Although the acting in Sunset Boulevard was well done, I got the impression that the director was more reliant on different aspects of mise-en scene rather than the acting alone. I epically noticed this when it came to the music, the costumes, and the makeup.

The very final scene is a great example of this. The final scene is so dramatic, although if you were to take out just the music it would lose a large amount of its dramatic effect on the viewer. The music in this scene is so well put together it draws the viewer in even more. By using different volumes, and tempos at specific times the director highlighted particular actions he wanted to have last in the minds of the viewer. By using the sound the way he did the director made sure that Norma was the main focus of the scene. This was made obvious due to the fact that every time she made a big movement, or spoke the music built right before or during it.

Another way the director made sure it was clear that Norma was the focus of the scene and the film in general was by the use of makeup, and costume on her. She had very big curly hair that she continued to mess with while she was in her bedroom. Once she stood up to make her grand entrance into the living room you were able to entirely see her highly elaborate costume. Her gown really showed off her social class, and importance. Her outfit easily stood out due to the fact that no one else in the room had on any flashy clothing on. All the other actors, and actresses in the scene had on basic every day work clothes. This made it easy for Norma’s outfit, and herself to really stand out from everyone, and everything else in the shot.

I really enjoyed the ending of this film due to the extraordinary use of mise-en scene. I had never before seen a film that used lighting, sound, makeup, and costume in that way. I epically liked that way that it was done so tastefully. I feel as if since there was so much going on in that final scene it could have easily been messy, or over whelming for the viewer. I am glad to say that the director did a great job at using just enough of all these things to make a very powerful ending to the story without compromising any quality, or understanding of the film as a whole.


One thought on “Sunset Boulevard

  1. I agree with your review, sunset boulevard is indeed a classic. I also like how you mentioned the film’s background score and audio. I didn’t notice how much better it made that scene until you said it. It really does match the scene perfectly and gives dramatic closure. It just goes to show how much the filmmakers wanted this particular scene to end with impact on the audience. Nice review 🙂


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