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Write a review of the opening sequence of 'Pretty Woman' analysing the techniques used by the director to hook the audience.

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Introduction

Write a review of the opening sequence of 'Pretty Woman' analysing the techniques used by the director to hook the audience. Pretty Woman is a romantic comedy, which is based on the stories of Cinderella, the Prince and the Pauper and My fair lady. The film was produced in 1990 and directed by Garry Marshall. It is set in the Hollywood hills and the rough Hollywood Boulevard. Richard Gere and Julia Roberts play the two main characters, Vivien Ward and Edward Lewis. Edward is a wealthy man who is respected and admired by others. Whereas Vivien is a lot poorer. Her only way of earning money is by her job as a prostitute in Hollywood Boulevard. In the film the music is very important. At the beginning it is set at a party. It is Edward's party so it is very posh and classy. All throughout the party scenes there is piano music being played in the background. This shows that Edward and his friends are very sophisticated. The music changes though when Edward is in his car driving through the Hollywood hills down into the Hollywood Boulevard. ...read more.

Middle

This shot of the city is a big contrast from the party that Edward was at a few minutes ago. This change of atmosphere would hook the audience because they would want to know what was going to happen now that they have been introduced to both sides of the story. You can see how rough the Hollywood Boulevard is because in the background you can see a hotel and on the aluminous sign only the H and the O are lit up on the all other letters the bulb has gone and they are already black, later on in the film we find out that this is the hotel where Vivien lives. Also on the side of the road there is a man holding up a sign that says 'Maps of stars homes' this links in with the whole idea of fame and celebrities that is always thought of Hollywood. The camera shots are very important in the opening sequence of the film. The first shot is a close up of someone's hands doing magic tricks with money; this signifies that Edward and his friends have lots and lots of money and also there is a voice over that says 'It's all about money.' ...read more.

Conclusion

The biggest signifier about Edward and what sort of character he is, is at the party in the first few shots. Also when it shows him on the phone breaking up with his girlfriend it signifies that he cant keep relationships very well and that when he has a girlfriend she ends up talking to his secretary more than she talks to him because he is too busy to take calls from her. Vivien is first introduced when she is in bed and the first shot is of her underwear, we don't see her face until the next shot of her. The biggest signifier within the first few shots is of the pictures on her wall of her and her boyfriends but her boyfriends faces have been cut or scratched out. I think that in conclusion Garry Marshall was very successful in how he was able to hook the audience. He used good techniques like the cross cutting shots and also how he introduced the two main characters away from each other leading their own lives. He made a very good contrast between Edward and Vivien by having Edward as the rich businessman and Vivien as the prostitute living in the Hollywood Boulevard. However he also made comparisons between the two characters for example neither of them are very good in relationships. ...read more.

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