The Piano


The Piano was a very off-putting film for me, however it was also very good when you look at it from a cinematic perspective. The piano, while at first may be thought of as just a prop, turned out to be much more than just a prop. From the first scene, when Ada rushed to play it when they made it to the beach you could see how important it was to her. It was her way of communicating and her sense of happiness. It created the initial divide between Ada and Stewart when he told Ada that they would not be taking it with them. It created a connection between Ada and Baine when Baine said that he would retrieve it for her. And it also served as the force that moved the love between Baine and Ada on.

Throughout the film there were many scenes with Ada and Baine where a red tint was used, or a lot of red was shown. I believe that this was very direct by the director. She was attempting to create a feeling a love that the color red brings. It is very subtle, but effective. Continuing on with light, she also used a lot of low light throughout the film. This helped to maintain a little fear in the viewers’ minds. The fear was felt for Ada. As viewers, we feared for her and Baine’s love being found out by Stewart. A lot of low light helped to keep that fear tucked in the back of our minds.

Finally, this film touched heavily on humans’ innate sexual desires, passion, and romantic impulses. As a society we face many constraints on our sexuality whether that be time, place, situation, etc. This film really exposed the sexuality of its characters and that carries over to the real world. Baine and Ada were very sexual people, but the situation that they were in constrained them at first. The rest of the plot was completely driven by their desires and impulses. The director, Jane Campion, said, “I think that the romantic impulse is in all of us and that sometimes we live it for a short time, but it’s not part of a sensible way of living. It’s a heroic path and it generally ends dangerously.” And I believe that to be very true and insightful.


One thought on “The Piano

  1. I think what the director, Jane Campion, says is directly reflected by Ada’s character. Ada seems to be once bitten and twice shy. She is very hesitant with men or people in general, indicating someone probably hurt her previously. She is scared to take a risk again, but she clearly had a romantic past before because she has a child. However I think the situation with Baines really rode the line of consensual. I personally thought that Ada was forced into a relationship with Baines and I am not a fan of it. Perhaps if she wasn’t pushed, nothing would have happened.


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