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Musicality in movies

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  1. A modern-day perspective into the random encounters of life.
  2. The irony of the world in which Andrew lives.
  3. Andrew's encounter with Sam.
  4. The concluding scene and creating a circular effect throughout the film.

The journey to self-discovery is a highlighting period for many young adults. Many filmmakers utilize those coming-of-age experiences to express the reality and pains of growing older. One contemporary example of this genre is Garden State. Released in 2004, this film transcends beyond the typical search for self-identity and purpose. The true connection of this movie with the audience lies within the soundtrack, which expresses a variety of musical perspectives and intimately parallels the feelings of the characters. Directed and starred by Zach Braff, a young and popular actor, Garden State unveils a modern-day perspective into the random encounters life has to offer and the music that narrates the feelings felt during the ride. Garden State is a heartfelt story of Andrew Largeman's journey away from the problems he realizes he ?may not even have? (Braff). Prompted by the death of his mother, the movie follows Andrew's return to Newark, New Jersey after nine years of living in Los Angeles.

[...] His thoughts remain unclear throughout this scene and onto the next as it shifts to a white room where Andrew, dressed in white, is lying robotically under his white sheets. A message from his father explaining the death of Andrew's mother plays from the phone while Andrew's eyes remain lifeless. The whiteness of the entire room, including Andrew's clothing, illustrates the lack of color within his life. Emotionally blank, Andrew's reactions thus far sets the film into an existential undertaking of how his meaningless world will change. [...]


[...] As stated by Theo van Leeuwen, the ?verbal meaning system? in which lyrics relate can be interpreted in many ways (95). The title of the song describes Andrew's calm and relaxed mannerisms while the lyrics directly correlate to the ironic beauty of life and death. During the verse live in a beautiful world,? the opening title of Garden State is presented, elaborating on the irony of the world in which Andrew lives (?Don't Panic Lyrics?). The succinct imaging of the title heightens the effect of the movie as the song provides a softening touch that contrasts the reality of Andrew's situation. [...]

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