Romero: A Review of The Film’s Sound in Relation to Its Political Theme
Analysis of theme of social and political resistance to the military junta and government in the movie Romero
The great film Romero is a 1989 feature presentation depicting the life of the widely controversial Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero and fellow martyred priest Rutilio Grande. The movie is essentially created to harness a political statement and activism that seem to have lain dormant amid the people’s complacency and submission to the abuses of the current regime portrayed in the movie. VINCENT CANBY of New York Times mentioned in his review that this political statement theme and social resistance to the military junta is best explained by the movie through its textbook portrayal of Archbishop Romero.
“ ‘Romero’ is more important as the brief, considerably simplified biography of a heroic man than as cinema.”, cites Mr. Canby. Significantly, the theme of the social and political resistance being highlighted by the kind of sound used in the movie is essentially about the rising intolerance of the people to the abuses of the regime and the rising initiative of Fr. Oscar Romero in igniting the fire to go against the system.
Analysis of Sound
The sound of the film was very successful in highlighting the fact that the people of Fr. Romero could not take any more the abuses of the political regime. I would go even so much as to say that the type of political resistance being shown in the film is much more like the way Ghandi made his resistance to the British Empire. Moreover, most of the sound or musical score in the movie is targeted to highlight a very bleak situation in the crisis undergone by the people of Archbishop Romero and this filmmaking element is used very creatively and subtly that, to paraphrase the reviews of it almost feels like the movie’s use of sound produces a film that is nothing short of a great documentary full biopic of Fr. Romero (Craig, 2004).
Scenes in the Movie that Relate to the Analyses
The main argument I have emphasized above is that the movie conveys all its political statements in a very textbook-like kind of narrative; something only a great biopic can achieve. This means that almost all of the highlighted scenes in the movie are either trying its best to earnestly point out the stand that Archbishop Romero is taking or making sure that the main political agenda of the people are made clear in the picture and sound element of the film.
For the movie’s political resistance analysis, two of the clearest sequences that underline clearly the use of great sound in emphasizing the theme of the political set-up and resistance in the movie are the first few minutes of the film where there was a speech given about the assassination of Fr. Romero and within the first ten minutes of the movie where photographers are sort of doing a spy on the people attending the rally. These two sequences clearly highlight the active involvement being described in my analysis above.
For the second analysis, the last part of the movie where the classical music was made to highlight the assassination of Romero clearly emphasizes the great importance of sound in creating impact on any part of the movie. Lastly, the second sequence that gives importance to the element of sound to the movie was the eerie background music in the opening credits. The mysterious sound clearly creates the drama I mentioned in my second analysis.
Canby, Vincent. Review/Film; El Salvador’s Slain Hero Of the Cloth. Published: August 25, 1989, The New York Times. Retrieved: July 23, 2009.
Craig, Benjamin. Sound Editor (aka Dubbing Editor). Published: November 19, 2004. Retrieved: July 23, 2009.Available: http://www.filmmaking.net/FAQ/answers/faq38.asp