Aristotelian Review of The Road To Perdition

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Using all six of Aristotle's Elements of Theatre, review the film The Road To Perdition. Use the following guideline on structure to format the paper. Also attached are questions you can use to help you think about the content of your paper.

Your Name THE 1132 Aristotelian Review Title This is an introductory paragraph concerning pertinent information about the film. This can include year made cast or crew information. Speak to what you will be covering. Paragraph or two on Plot. Do not tell me the plot, but speak to the structure of the plot and the plausibility of the plot. Use the question ideas sheet to flesh out the subject, but do not just answer the questions one by one. Paragraph or two on Theme. Contemplate the overall theme and any secondary themes that may also be in play. Is it a unique theme or approach to the theme? Paragraph or two on Diction. What is the language of the film? Does it fit the time? Does it fit the characters? Refer to questions sheet. Paragraph or two on Character. Speak to the validity of the characters and how real or unreal they are. Pick at least two characters to provide example. Paragraph or two on Music. How does the music support the film, create mood, or relate to character? Two or three paragraphs on Spectacle? Speak to the design elements and to the craft of the film. What are some striking visuals. Conclusion paragraph should speak to your overall feelings about the film and what makes or doesn’t make it for you. If you quote any reviews of the film or interviews of the crew, please provide a bibliography and notate quotes.
Questions for contemplating in your final film review of Road to Perdition ( One paragraph of your paper must relate to a specific subject, ex. Introduction Paragraph, Plot Paragraph, Character Paragraph, Theme Paragraph, Diction Paragraph, Music Paragraph, Spectacle Paragraph, Conclusion Paragraph.) Plot 1. What event sets the story in motion? 2. How many of the following conflicts apply to Road to Perdition? (1) person vs. person (2) person vs. society (3) person vs. nature (4) person vs. self. 3. In terms of rising action, climax, and falling action, describe the structure of the plot, stating when the action stops rising and reaches a climax and begins to fall. 4. The action in the story must be believable. Detail a particular event or action that causes another event or has an important effect on a character or a relationship between characters. Describe how this event or action moves the story forward. 5. Is there a back-story, and if there is, how does it advance the main plot? 6. What is the key moment in the story, the scene which brings illumination or an "ah-ha" moment? 7. Although incidents in the story usually return to the main conflict, they often reveal a pattern related to the ideas in the story. This pattern causes the viewers to focus sharply on the story itself. What pattern can be seen in the story? 8. What is the moment of climax, the moment of highest tension, when the solution to the problem is now in sight? 9. The film's denouement or falling action establishes a sense of stability. What happens in this section of the story? Character Characterization is delineated through: (1) the character's thoughts, words, speech patterns, and actions; (2) the narrator's description; and (3) the thoughts, words, and actions of other characters. When students analyze character, they should be reminded to have these three sources in mind. 1. How are the major characters introduced? What does this tell us about what will happen in the story? 2. What motivates Michael Sullivan? What did this motivation have to do with the theme of the film? 3. The characters must be credible; how they act and what they say must make sense. What aspects of the personalities of the major characters in this story affect their credibility? 4. Is there consistency in the characters throughout the story? Do their actions follow their natures and ring true? 6. How does Michael’s relationship with the Rooneys affect his actions? Describe the relationships that you believe contribute to the story and how those relationships advance the action of the story. 7. Who is the antagonist? Are there multiple? 8. In what ways are the characters' actions driven by the values endorsed or criticized in the story or by ideas presented by the story? 9. What role does Michael’s back-story play in explaining his actions? 10. Is there any information known to the audience that is being held back from any of the characters? If there is a hesitation in revealing information to characters, explain how things change once this information becomes known to those characters. 11. Are there any transformations or changes that occur over the course of the story in any of the major characters? For each transformation or change, describe how it comes about and how it relates to the story's themes or ideas. Thought (Themes) 1. The significance of the story is determined by the power of its comment on the human condition. What comment is being made in this movie about what it is to be human? 2. The theme of a story is the general idea or insight about life expressed by the author. Theme is a universal and meaningful concept that emerges from the characters' actions and from the outcomes of conflicts described in the story. Theme is often thought of as the lesson that the author is trying to teach the reader or audience. More than one theme can be included in a work of fiction; however, there is usually one primary theme that ties together all of the elements of a story. Usually, a theme can be expressed in one sentence. What is the primary or central theme of this story? 3. What life lessons can be learned from the choices made by the characters in this story? Diction (Language and Symbology) 1. What is the tone or mood of the story? 2. Evaluate the pacing in the story and how it affects other elements of the story such as theme. 3. What elements of irony exist in the story? How do they serve to move the story forward and how do they assist in illuminating the story's theme? 4. Stories can be told from the following points of view: first person, third person objective, third person limited, and third person omniscient. From whose point of view is the story told? 5. Is the point of view from which the story is told the best choice that the storyteller could have made? Argue your point. 6. A symbol in a story is an object, an animal, a person, an action, or an event that stands not only for itself, but also for something else. Symbols are of two types. Conventional symbols have a widely accepted meaning outside of the story. Examples are a nation's flag, a crucifix, a Star of David, or a nation's flag. Other conventional symbols reinforce meaning by reference to a culturally shared conception of the object, animal, action, or event. For example, rain is often a symbol of life or fertility. The fact that a story is set in the spring can serve as a symbol for renewed life or purpose. Other symbols have meaning only within the story. These are called contextual symbols. They usually have no special meaning except within the context of the story. Symbols keep their meaning as an object, animal, person or event, but within the story, they also suggest something else. Describe the symbols used in this story, both those that have meaning outside of the story and those which have meaning only within the story. What does each stand for? 7. Foreshadowing and echoing in the story can indicate how the story is going to develop. Did you see any foreshadowing or echoing of events? 8. How does acting choice contribute to the story the filmmakers are trying to tell? Are the characters broad or stereotypical or are they singular individuals? Music 1. Does the film have original scoring or does it borrow from popular music? 2. How does the soundtrack affect your perception of the action or a specific scene? 3. Do characters have their own themes? 4. Does any of the soundtrack stand out so that it would be recognizable outside of the film? 5. How much of the film is underscored? 6. Does the soundtrack fit the time period of the film or does it stand separate from it? Spectacle (Design) 1. How do the sets contribute to the mood or time period the filmmakers are trying to establish? 2. How do the costumes contribute to the characters or time period the filmmakers are trying to convey? 3. How do the props contribute to the image the filmmakers are trying to convey and do they fit into the real or imagined world of the film? Spectacle (Cinematic Devices and Special Effects) 1. How did the editing of the film advance the story that the filmmakers were trying to tell? Explain how the editors achieved this effect. 2. Analyze the use of sound other than music in the movie. Did it enhance the story that the filmmakers were trying to tell? What sounds, other than music, would you have used to tell the story told by this movie? 3. Were there any examples lighting that stood out to you in helping to tell the story, convey character or develop tension? 4. What is the difference between "side lighting" and "front lighting" and what are their different uses in film? 5. Film is a composition of pictures. Which specifically framed shots reveal something important to the story line? Describe the shot and explain its contribution to the story. 6. Describe the use of color in the film. Did it advance the emotions the filmmakers were trying to evoke? 7. Are there significant special that make an important impact on storytelling? 8. Are there any makeup effects or approaches to makeup that help to define character or add to the reality of the situation?

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Robyn1994
School: New York University

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