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Combining Melodrama and Docudrama through Various Mise-en-Scene to Create Portraits of Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana - Essay Example

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The Queen Combining Melodrama and Docudrama through Various Mise-en-Scene to Create Portraits of Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana Instructor Date Submitted The British film, The Queen (2006) combines the genres of melodrama and docudrama to create specific portraits of Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana…
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Combining Melodrama and Docudrama through Various Mise-en-Scene to Create Portraits of Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana
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"Combining Melodrama and Docudrama through Various Mise-en-Scene to Create Portraits of Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana"

Download file to see previous pages Instead, the film concentrates on Queen Elizabeth’s reaction and immediate behaviour following the death of Diana. It attempts to create a very specific portrait of the Queen as both a monarch and an emotional and flawed human being. Though the character of Diana is not acted out, through real video footage, media excerpts and the opinions of many people, a portrait is also created of her, as well as the Queen. In this way, the focus is on both the character of Diana and the character of the Queen, conveyed through entirely different mediums. While the Queens portrait is represented through the actual characters judgements, behaviours, thoughts and actions, Diana is manifested through images, media files and the statements of others including the general public. The film achieves these portrayals by combining elements of both melodrama and docudrama, and through several mise-en-scene components, including dialogue, music, costume, props and lighting. Both melodrama and docudrama are generally identified as sub-categories of drama. Melodrama focuses on emotional premises and interpersonal conflict to appeal to the emotionality of the audience. As a genre it was often ridiculed by theatre critics of the 19th and early 20th centuries but has gained merit in the latter half of the 20th century and is now arguably one of the most written about Hollywood genres (Singer, 2001). It often heightens and exaggerates the plot or the natural and realistic emotional conflicts involved in a story in order to heighten and enhance this type of appeal. It typically involves a heroine and a villain and is often identified with the objective to make the viewer cry, as noted by Neale (1986), “a feature crucial to melodrama...its ability to move its spectators and in particular to make them cry”. Docudrama on the other hand, is drama based upon actual historical events. It usually attempts to re-enact actual occurrences as true to life as possible, albeit long after the event actually happened. An evolution of the documentary genre, “films based on fact raise so many questions...that for the purposes of study, it is profitable to regard them as belonging to a different species called docudrama”, (Rosenthal, 1999). As a sort of dramatised documentary, this sub-genre has often been questioned for its representation of truth and fact, however, Fraser (1999) postulates that when docudrama is done well, the audience generally understands what is fact and what is fiction. Lipkin (2002) suggests that the premise of a truth within a docudrama, serves to launch the work in a different direction than standard documentation. This film can be categorized within both of these genres, as it features significant elements of both subsets. While the film is quite obviously a docudrama, in that it tells the real story of actual historical events according to accurate dates, locations, people involved and factual events, it also portrays intimate moments which are not necessarily fact. Such scenes have been interpreted according to general knowledge and common assumptions, often with a view to making them more melodramatic and in line with the emotional conflict of the story. In this way, melodrama is also an identifying aspect of the film. For example, in scenes of Diana’s funeral, real news footage is used, accurate dates are given and even real people involved are shown. The film makes use of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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