Harold And Maude Analysis

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Imagine it’s December 23, 1971 and you are on a long anticipated date night at the local theater in your neighborhood. You are your love have settled on the new romantic comedy Harold and Maude by director Hal Ashby. What better than a romantic comedy on date night, two quirky, upbeat, individuals who fall in love through adversity and live happily ever after; all while getting a few laughs along the way. Like most couples you may not say much during the viewing but as soon as you walk out of the theater you want to say the first thing that comes to mind about the film. What would have been your response to Harold and Maude back in 1971, let alone in 2015? In my opinion the first time I viewed Harold and Maude I was entirely engaged by the …show more content…
I like many others have found myself facing “society’s expectations V.S. who I truly am”. However giving the plot a second chance is not what changed my mind and the film. Academy award winning editor turned director Hal Ashby uses “mise-en-scence” functions in relation to the entire film to create a powerful reaction and force you to step down from your soap box and embrace the perspectives he places in front of you despite the …show more content…
Immediately the low key lighting of the shot suggest oppression and gloom surrounding the character and sets the mood of the film. We can hear the sound of Harold’s footsteps as he walk through the set this again adds to the dreadful feeling predicting the events to come. The director gives us a suggestion to Harold financial status and high class as he passes by large and expensive looking furniture. Harold is neatly dressed an out dated and muted brown suit along with a gold watch among other pieces of jewelry. In just the first few minutes Hal Ashby leads us to start to understand just a little bit about the life Harold lives but also that he may not be happy about it either. To intensify the emotion, Harold then sets the tone of the film by playing the song “don’t be shy” by Cat Stevens. As we listen to the lyrics “Don 't be shy just let your feelings roll on by Don 't wear fear or nobody will know you 're there Just lift your head, and let your feelings out instead And don 't be shy, just let your feeling roll on by” the director is clearly telling us that this is a moment of reflection for

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