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What makes a good film opening? Discuss using film language with reference to 'Romeo + Juliet' (1997) and Bend it like Beckham' (2002)

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English Coursework What makes a good film opening? Discuss using film language with reference to 'Romeo + Juliet' (1997) and Bend it like Beckham' (2002) By Rahila Sumnani 10W It is very important that a film has a good opening. As these first few minutes of a movie establishes the first impression and causes the viewers to carry on watching. So, what makes a good opening? The main aim of the opening is to grab the audience's attention (make them want to watch more). The opening should tell us the genre of the film, the setting or location, and it may tell us one of the storylines of the movie to keep the viewers watching and to give the audience a taster of the narrative. The opening should include many different techniques, from catchy music to fast paced editing. The most important element to a good opening is the element of suspense and mystery. An opening that makes the audience ask questions is a good opening. Film language plays a key role in giving a film a good opening. So, the use of Genre, Intertexuality, Lighting, Colour, Sound, Mise-en-Scene, Camera angles & shots and the Editing style & pace, can all make a good opening. If the use of these film languages in the opening grabs the audience's attention and makes the audience ask questions, the film is then known to have a good opening. In this essay I will be discussing the film openings of 'Romeo +Juliet' (1997) and 'Bend it like Beckham' (2002). I will be comparing the two film openings and deciding if they are good openings using film language and what affect this has on the audience. ...read more.


The colour of the clothing the characters are wearing is very important aswell. The commentators are wearing very dull clothes and look very sophisticated. However Jess's mum, Mrs Bhamra is also wearing very dull clothes such as brown making her seem very negative. Sound is one of the most important film languages as what you hear is just as vital as what you see, so that the affect of the images can be emphasised upon. The opening of 'Bend it like Beckham' begins with a black screen; here non digetic sound is being used. We hear the cheering of the crowd and the commentating which is heard from a very familiar and believable voice. As there are no images on screen the viewers are automatically made to focus on these sounds, which tells the audience that they are about to watch a football match. The dialogues in a movie are also considered as sound and this film being a comedy, the dialogue is extremely important. The dialogues have been made humorous in many ways such as mixing the two languages English and Punjabi. Near the end of the opening when David Beckham's picture is shown, Indian music can be heard in the background. This particular scene stands out as this is contrapuntal sound and tells us a bit about the storyline, as the two 'Beckham' and 'Indian' do not match. This scene may show the two sides in Jess's life, dreams of having a football career against her family life and culture. How she overcomes the two clashing may be what the film is about. The sounds involved in 'Romeo + Juliet' are very different to 'Bend it like Beckham', it is much more powerful. ...read more.


The film is set in 'the city of fair Verona' this indicates action, as action films are known to be set in cities. The two families are dressed smartly and very sophisticatedly, also showing their wealth. The men are wearing suits while the women are wearing pearls. Aswell as men in police uniforms show that the law has some part in this movie. When the characters are introduced it is mostly stills where there is no movement, but we can tell hat each person is serious and intense by their facial expressions. Very little make up is used on both men and women causing the characters to look more weary and dull again emphasising on the tragedy. Romeo is only half shown which creates mystery and Romeo's best friend Mercutio is pointing at the screen in a very violent manner, giving an intense feeling to the viewers In conclusion, I believe that 'Romeo + Juliet' had the better opening out of the two. 'Bend it like Beckham' was a good opening but to an extent it would have only attracted a certain number of groups, especially those who were interested in football. However I believe 'Romeo + Juliet' would attract many different groups of people. This is not the only reason why I believe this was the better opening. I believe 'Romeo + Juliet' used each film language element in a well organized planned and sorted way, as each element contrasted with the other and worked together. Whereas, 'Bend it like Beckham' focused on each element separately. I believe the film opening of 'Romeo + Juliet' was extremely powerful, original and gave the element of mystery. These were the things I did not find in 'Bend it like Beckham' ...read more.

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