The Piano

The Piano, directed and written by Jane Campion, is a movie about a young mute lady called Ada from Scotland that is forced to move to New Zealand to marry a man she does not know. She is accompanied by her only ways to communicate: Her daughter and her piano. The Piano has a lot of unpredictable twists and turns, and surprises with the way its protagonists and antagonists behave.

However, the strongest motif of the movie is without doubt the piano itself. The only time Ada seems to be truly happy is when she is playing with the piano or with her daughter. Right at the beginning of the movie she is forced to leave it behind and later she has to humiliate herself in order to retrieve it. The scenes where Ada is playing are supposed to be the most intense scenes of the movie ad therefore expressed through close ups of her fingers. The whole movie is accompanied by piano and classical music and fits the atmosphere and time.

There is also subtle foreshadowing when the shadow play predicts the climax of the movie: Her husband chopping of her hand in anger about her relationship to another man. This scene was shot in slow motion and a low rate of frames per second in order to make it more intense for the audience.

I really liked the ending of the movie, when she finally got rid of the piano and at the same time found her will to live. The Piano was an entertaining and thrilling movie that convinced with its good acting, great shots and amazing screenplay. However, the only thing I did not like about the movie was the almost ridiculous presentation of Maori as uncivilized or even stupid.

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2 thoughts on “The Piano

  1. I think that with the piano being Ada’s main source of communication and even happiness (besides her daughter) it showed throughout the movie the affect the piano had on the whole film. It turned Ada’s favorite thing into a whole different world exposing her to the feelings of lust and pleasure, the piano being the main excuse to go visit another man – was the source of the conflicts in the movie. I like your response on this film and I didn’t notice the foreshadowing about the cut off finger until we discussed it in class. Crazy!

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  2. I thought this was a really good film! I liked the overall theme and storyline. At first my opinion on her love interest was that he was kind of weird but throughout the film I started to adjust. I liked that the piano was sort of like her voice. Great job!

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