This sample essay on Grease Genre reveals arguments and important aspects of this topic. Read this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion below.
My film that I choose was Grease because it contains music, dancing and humor. It is a cross between comedy and teen movies. It is a tribute to the Broadway show of the 1950’s. It was directed by Randal Klieser and was released on July 7th 1978. The music and dance scenes are what attracted me to Grease.
My favorite characters are John Travolta and Jeff Conaway who play Danny and Kenickie. I like these two because they are your typical high school popular boys who are always looking out for each other, looking good and they are always trying to get the beautiful girls but at the same time acting cool like it doesn’t bother them. I had high expectations of Grease and I lived up to each and every single one of them. I learnt about this film through television and newspapers.
We used three simple words from everyday media. Firstly narrative is from the Latin word narra, meaning the way a story is told. Many theories have been applied to the creation of stories. Tzvetan Torodovs 5stages of narrative. He said that all plots had 5 major components. These 5 components are equilibrium, disruption, complications, climax and resolutions (also called new equilibrium. The story begins with a situation of normality although not necessarily a positive one. An event changes the story, which involves the struggle of the characters to restore the equilibrium or reach their goal.
The story reaches a point where the equilibrium or goal hangs in the balance. Normally the equilibrium is restored or a new equilibrium is established. Grease used this theory because the equilibrium is Rydell high the normal high school, the disruption is when Sandy comes and knows Danny, the complications is that Danny cannot be with Sandy because she is too pure for him and he is the most popular guy in school, the resolution is that Sandy turns into a bad girl and the climax is when Sandy and Danny end up together.
Secondly genre is the French word meaning type. Genres may be approached by way of various critical avenues. In the Aristotelian strain we recognize genres as kinds within a system of classification. These categories beg further definition, so there is a history of, on the one hand, the refinement of divisions and subdivisions, and on the other a Platonic search for the ‘essential’ qualities of tragedy, comedy, epic poetry, and so forth. By the recognition of genres we begin to find our way in the universe of verbal artifacts with their feigned discourses, and to train our expectations upon the experience that lies in wait for us. Grease’s genre is a hybrid genre because it is a cross between a comedy, a teen movie and romantic.
Lastly representation is the act of representing or the state of being represented. Also it is something that represents an image, an account or statement, an expostulation or a presentation or production. For example the representation of the characters in Grease varies. Sandy is portrayed as a pure and innocent girl but on the other hand Rizzo is portrayed as a bad girl who is always getting into trouble and won’t take anything from no one. Also Rizzo is sometimes mean to Sandy but when it’s to her face she is sweet and kind. This tells me that she is two faced. Also because Sandy is pure and innocent she is not aloud to join the pink ladies (this connotes girly, frilly, happy, lively and/or average girl). Also Danny is portrayed in two different ways. When Danny is with his friends he is a mean typical boy who only cares about himself. But on the other hand Danny completely transforms when he is around Sandy. He becomes a sweet and caring person who Sandy falls in love with.
Grease creates suspense because it has so many different storylines and each have a particular ending. For example the ‘will they won’t they’ with Danny and Sandy will end with them getting together. Is Rizo pregnant? Obviously she is not. Also who will win the car race is obvious because they wouldn’t create a film that where they lose. So really we expect certain endings in a teen movie. This works because in the time left from the main storyline, it is filled in with other small but prominent storylines which creates many different types of suspense. The bit that are stereotypical are that we know it is going to end like a fairy tale because it will all work out and everyone will live happily ever after.
The mis-en-scenes are standard, the shot size varies from a standard to a birds-eye view to an extreme close up etc. the compositions are straight on and the lenses are standard. All of these help to tell the story because it gives it a normal typical high school day and adds effect because if it had abnormal technical analysis then it wouldn’t match the genre, because it is a conventional American film. There was nothing really unique about the narrative because it followed all the codes and the technical analysis, so it didn’t reinvent certain generic conventions or new narratives. The type of ending closes the film off and also the ending was effective because it was at a funfair, which connotes the idea of fun and happiness and it also denotes a typical end of school party in America.
The characters are realistic and are normal people and they are also authentic and believable characters. The mis-en-scenes have al been constructed in a way that tells me that it is an average high school where there are normal students who go through and do everything normal teenagers go through e.g. dates. The locations are an American diner, a drive in, the driving race and the high school, which signifies that these are all the cool spots where the T-birds and The Pink Ladies hang out. There are not a lot of special effects except for when they are in the car chase and the car lifts off the ground and into a puddle when Danny is about to win the race.
The women are represented in different ways especially the popular girls aka The Pink Ladies are shown as different people. For example Rizo is shown as a girl who will sleep with anyone; she puts it as ‘getting her kicks while I’m still young’. Frenchy is a wanabe beauty stylist and ends up dropping out of high school to go to a beauty school, but after failing all her classes she enrolls back into high school, she is opposite to Rizo because she will not sleep with the first boy she sees. There are not a lot of ethnic minorities in Grease, so some could say it’s a racist film because it only has white people in it and although it is typical of this era there are few people from other countries in it, but they haven’t got main parts.
There were no narratives that were ineffective because it’s a comedy the hilarity would overwrite any narrative you put with it. The audience would see through it and still think it was funny. The costumes of the characters match the film because back in the 70’s they wore big long skirts and people could wear what they wanted without being judged. The men wore leather trousers and the women wore tight tops and big frilly skirts that whilst you were dancing and spinning the skirt would become a circle. The make up has same effect on the characters because not a lot of high school students would wear a lot of make up so they would put make up on but it would look natural.
Different characters were shown in different ways. The popular guys and girls were shown always picking on those who were annoying or unpopular but it wasn’t shown that much because they were too busy concentrating on themselves, how they looked and how they would solve there problems so it is an average that they didn’t care about anyone but themselves and they were effective and had bourgeois (middle class values; they are very normal). The message that these narratives are trying to publicize is that Grease is a film that everyone can enjoy, but like every film it has its problems and also the purpose of the narrative is to make it seem that the film is funny and musical, but it shows teenagers facing problems that all students and people in general face in everyday life. So there’s a contrast between the hilarity and the problems that teenagers go through.
The genre and narrative connect together in a way that the narrative connotes a mainstream day and the genre connotes the comedy and romance, and this put together makes the film a funny normal film that anyone could enjoy if they wanted to. The soundtrack gave Grease the musical feel that it needed to become the smash hit was. The synchronization of the visual and the sound of Grease are connected in a way that if there were no visual Grease wouldn’t be the great film it turned out to be and visa versa, this is a promotional strategy.
In conclusion the target audience would have to be everyone because anyone can watch Grease because they will enjoy the storylines and the optimism. The most effective part about Grease is that there are not really any negative bits that cannot be resolved easily, because all round Grease the different storylines have made practically no mistakes in it. The four typicals are settings, tag names, genre, and narrative. The typical settings are the high school and the diners. The typical tag names is a blonde, an exchange student, the grunger, the rebel, the geek, the beautiful girl, the ugly girl, the stupid parents, the teacher and the popular guy. The typical genre is comedy, romance and a teen movie. Finally the typical narrative is Tzvetan Torodovs 5stages of narrative. The main things that I found out bout Grease was that the narrative and the settings were surprisingly good and the best bit of the film is that it is a mix of genre so it suits everybody’s needs and the worse thing would have to be settings because all teen movies are always set in America and I personally think that they should set a Grease like film over in England.