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Montage: Shadyac's Message In Evan Almighty

1572 words - 6 pages

One objective of the director, Tom Shadyac and film crew of Even Almighty was to reduce the "footprint" left behind by the act of creating a movie. Crewmembers rode bicycles while on location. Materials used in constructing the sets were donated to Habitat for Humanity following production. According to Producer Michael Bostick, over 2000 trees were planted by the crew to offset the carbon impact of the entire venture. "I've been waking up to the idea that we may be really affecting this world we live in for the worse," said Tom Shadyac, "We sort of wanted to live the themes of the movie."So what are the themes of Evan Almighty? One obvious theme is our need for power and our tendency to abuse it. The failure of each of us to notice or care about how we impact those around us, our short-sighted and halfhearted efforts to create positive change in our world, and several other pop-culture themes can be found within the film. The film overtly promotes acts of random kindness (ARK). Faith, the lack of faith in everyday life, the restoration of faith; all these themes run through this film. There is even an attempt to explain why God doesn't just give us all what we want.The major theme of this film, environmental responsibility, could easily be lost among all these other messages. The onslaught of imagery and fast-paced montage action create a blur of fashionable mantras. Writer, Steve Oedekerk and Shadyac use several montages in this film. Perhaps this was an effort to reach the short attention span comedy audience, hoping that repetitive messaging might leave an indelible mark. This is not to suggest that the montages were light on meaning. Even though comedic, each montage added a unique set of images to the film and each supplemented its intended theme effectively, just as Eisenstein might have done.The opening montage of the film is a strategic placement of message and explanation. The viewing audience for this film arrived fully aware of the film's predecessor Bruce Almighty. They arrived also aware of the character, Evan Baxter in the previous film. The opening montage attempts to explain how a minor support character and bumbling buffoon could possibly become the lead in the sequel, a congressman, and the choice of God for a vital mission to save the neighborhood and the world. That's a lot of explanation to incorporate into about four minutes of film. Yet, there is still more to this montage. It introduces new characters to the plot and sets up the primary environmental theme of the film. That theme is easily missed by a passive spectator who is still positioning the popcorn in his lap.Evan Almighty begins with the campaign montage, which quickly follows the rise of Evan Baxter from half-wit news anchor to congressman. Some individual scenes carry significant meaning, while others serve to connect the actions to the film's overall message.The opening montage is introduced as a "look back at his run for Congress." Evan states his surprise at...

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