Film Analysis of Anna And The King
When we want to analyze a film, we must know what films represent.
Film is the term we use to describe a particular material and medium
of communication that has certain specific properties governed by
certain physical laws…use to produce particular communicative texts
that formulate particular fields of symbolic meaning and effects, and
meet particular sets of criteria that give them particular value.
(Sobchack et al, 1987, P.3).
We need to investigate the films deeply so as to understand its
explicit and implicit meanings. I am going to investigate a film, Anna
And The King thematically so as to understand the explicit and
implicit meanings of this film and how the meanings were conveyed
through characterization, setting, point of view and dialogues.
I am going to talk about the explicit meanings of the film first.
Explicit meanings are the “ openly asserted meanings” (Bordwell et al,
2001, p.46) of the film and it tells the audience what the story is
about. In Anna And The King, the story is about the epic true story of
an Englishwoman, Anna Leonwens, who challenged the king of Siam, King
Maha Mongkut and finally saved the destiny of the nation. Anna was a
young widow and had a ten-year old child, named Louis. She was invited
by the king to travel to Siam in order to teach his fifty-eight royal
children. Anna had preconceived notions about the East; the king also
had similar notions about the West. At first, Anna found that she was
not suited for the culture of Siam and had conflicts with the king. As
time gradually passed, Anna and the King mutual respect grew and they
learnt from each others’ cultures. At last, Anna saved Siam from
political danger and their respect gradually turned into love. Anna
chose to leave Siam. At the last scene, she danced with the King in
Siam’s palace. The above is the explicit story of the film and
audiences would notice the theme of love with cultural differences
after watching it.
Next, I am going to talk about how the theme is conveyed through
characterization, setting, point of view and dialogues. Firstly, I
will talk about characterization. The major characters in the film are
King Mongkut, acted by Chow Yun- Fat, and the schoolteacher Anna,
acted by Jodie Foster. Chow is Asian while Foster is western. Their
appearances are very different; Chow has yellow skin, black hair and
eyes. Foster has white skin, brown hair and green eyes. Just by
observing their distinct appearances may reveal that cultural
conflicts are bond to occur between the King of Siam and the English
schoolteacher. Also, the costumes reflect their different cultural
backgrounds. In the film, Anna wore 17th century British clothing
while the King wore Siam’s style of clothes. The servants of Siam did
not wear any clothes on...