- May 18, 2020
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Brooklyn (2015) is a film about an Irish girl called Eilis Lacey wholives in Ireland with her mother and Rose, her elder sister. Eilis isforced to work at a local shop twice a week since securing a decentjob is difficult. Rose develops a concern over Eilis’ happiness andconsequently gets in touch with Father Flood, an Irish priestresiding in Brooklyn. She asks Father Flood to help Eilis get a goodjob. Father Flood is accommodative of the idea of helping Eilis findsomething better. Rose makes arrangements for her journey to Brooklynwhich takes place towards the end of 1951. While traveling on a seavoyage she meets a lady whose style of dressing is so refined. Thetwo ladies forge a friendship which results to Eilis being taught afew things about how to dress well in Brooklyn. While at Brooklyn,Eilis stays at a boarding house for ladies. The ladies teach Eilishow to eat some of the food served in Brooklyn and a few otherthings. She finds a job at a department store where Miss Fortinihappens to be her supervisor. She suffers a lot from homesicknessduring her first few days in Brooklyn. Through the help of FatherFlood, she enrolls in a part-time bookkeeping class. Meanwhile, Eilismaintains communication with her family back in Ireland by sendingletters.
She attends a dance where she meets Tony who is an American ofItalian origin. Tony exposes her to the beauty of Brooklyn and thetwo get into a romantic relationship. They visit Tony’s family fordinner go to the beach, attend dances and movies together. By thistime, Eilis’ love for Brooklyn becomes so tremendous and daily shefinds more reason to enjoy living in Brooklyn. She completes herbookkeeping course and performing exemplary. One day, Father Floodinforms her about the death of her sister. This forces Eilis to goback to Ireland to help her family cope with the loss. She also takesup her late sister’s bookkeeping job.
While in Ireland Eilis and Tony keep their relationship alive byexchanging letters. Later on, she gets into a romantic relationshipwith Jim Farrell and almost forgets about Tony. It gets to a pointwhere Eilis must make a choice between the two men, and consequentlybetween Ireland and Brooklyn. She gets back together with Tony andthey rekindle their love. She then leaves Ireland, for the secondtime, for Brooklyn.
The film’s Mise-en-scene
Story.The story having its time setting in the early 1950s is portrayedvery well with the choice of costumes worn by the actors. Theclothing worn by Eilis and other casts while in Ireland is differentcompared to the ones worn while in Brooklyn. The outfits depict theclothes worn by people in the early 1950s. Everything else includingmode of traveling which was by sea, communication which was throughletters, amongst other things has a huge resemblance with those ofthe 1950s.
Actingperformances. The actress, who plays the role of Eilis brings outa typical Irish girl of the 1950s. It is through her calm poise mixedwith a look of shyness that makes the actress deliver her roleperfectly, making the movie very interesting. Her well-executeddemeanor makes it quite hard for the audience to predict her nextmove in every scene.
Cinematograph.The cinematography has been developed with the aim of creating asense of nostalgia in its audiences. It also portrays two differentworlds nicely: Brooklyn and Ireland. High-key lighting is maintainedmostly to complement the romantic theme of the movie. Most of thescenes are vibrantly bright with no shadows at all. The use ofvibrant and realistic colors depict the change of emotions from onescene to the next.
A discussion of the director’s style
The director of this movie, John Crowley, has a unique style ofdirecting this movie. Contrary to the common belief that movies whosestoryline are set in the 1950s had to be filmed in black and white,the director has made the shooting of Brooklyn (2015) to be invibrant colors. Also, his choice of the movie’s mise-en-scene,which includes the actors and actresses’ costumes, lighting andbackgrounds, have had a positive influence on the quality of themovie and its efficiency in projecting an early 1950s story.
The director has also used a classical Hollywood narrative style. Theediting and camera are not made visible to the audience throughoutthe movie. Furthermore, there is a clear narrative logic seen throughthe continuous flow of the story from the start of the movie to itsend.
My personal reaction to the film
The film is charming and timeless in every way. I would give thismovie a nine out of a ten-star rating. The mise-en-scene is fashionedto deliver the 1950s story perfectly. Brooklyn (2015) tells a storyof how one in life can be torn between two different worlds, bothaffording similar opportunities, and alternatives. The moviecaptivates its audience in the way it captures the anxiety anindividual goes through when they have to make a choice between thetwo worlds.
Brooklyn.Directed by John Crowley, Lionsgate, 2015.