Rhetorical Analysis of ‘The Tree of Life’ Movie Review
For every writer, there comes a time when they take responsibility for how their work appeals to their audience. This implies that when writers are in their work, they must always consider what their audience will experience while interacting with their literary works. As a result, they are obligated to ensure that despite the challenges that they experience while writing their pieces of work, their audience must have a comfortable experience going through their work and that they understand and enjoy it. The ‘Tree of Life’ movie review is a representation of a mixture of the author’s beliefs mirrored in the facts presented in the film
During the rhetorical situation of writing the movie review for ‘The Tree of Life,’ I experienced some kick starts and setbacks as well. A close look at the movie reveals that it revolves around one of the most common topics that coincidentally relates to each one of us as human beings. As a Christian, I found the review very interesting and felt a feeling of Déjà vu working on it because I have spent most of my childhood years learning about the same story in this movie. Similarly, the rhetorical situation, in this case, represents the side of belief I have when it comes to matters concerning the origin and destination of the life we live today. This helped me resonate with the literary piece, making it clear for me to understand the facts it presents.
However, the rhetorical situation in the ‘The Tree of Life’ movie review is full of complexities, especially those emanating from the different characteristics of the intended audience. In most cases, matters about religion can be contradicting, considering that religion is a broad topic whose validity changes across religious subgroups. The existence of these diverging views in the issue demonstrates a likelihood of the review having a minimal appeal to the pathos and ethos of the intended audience.
In an attempt to make this rhetorical situation more appealing to the audience, I attempted to use different literary approaches. The application of stylistic devices in any piece of writing makes a great deal of sense as it helps readers to enjoy any piece of literature from a different point of view. In this movie review, different stylistic choices were made to make it more successful. One of the most used stylistic choices, in this case, is an allusion. Allusion refers to the act of making indirect references to an object to help the reader or audience to make assumptions, create imaginations, or come to a conclusion about a given thing. At the start of the review, the piece acknowledges that the movie is not a “Let’s watch the movie,” its, “Let’s watch this Terrance Malick movie.” This creates a notion that this is not just an ordinary movie, but a film from a giant producer. Even if one did not know who Terence Malick was, reading this part of the review would make them conclude that this move is above average. According to Texas Gateway, “writers or speakers enable us to feel more connected to what is being read or heard” by using allusion . In this case, the use of allusion in the review stimulates the audience to generate more ideas of how the movie may be like. In the end, this helps the review to achieve its purpose of helping more people choose to watch the film.
Similarly, the piece attempts to appeal more to the audience by using metonymy. The author of the review summarizes the time setting of the movie. They suggest the best audience for it where they point out that “for the many that were born in the 1950s, the baby boomers, it is their kind of movie–capturing the 1950s nostalgia” In most cases, metonymy is used as a word to represent a particular group of things or a single object. In this case, the review uses the term ‘baby boomers’ to represent the audience born in the period between 1946 and 1964. In most cases, metonymy plays an essential role in literature by creating symbolism, which in most cases, helps the reader or audience connect better with the message of the literary work. In the case of ‘The Tree of Life’ review, the term ‘baby boomers’ plays a vital role in addressing the needs of the group of people born during the period.
In most cases, the ‘baby boomers’ generation is more likely to be aged such that they may end up assuming that all movies produced during the time this film was produced, target the millennial or ‘Generation X.’ However, the use of the term referring to their generation creates a nostalgic feeling that excites them to consider watching at the movie. “Metonymy plays an important role in meaning extension” (Guan, 179). Its use, in this case, creates an extended meaning of the literary piece and helps the author to appeal to a broader range of the intended audience
To properly achieve its intended purpose, the piece makes use of the third person point of view. This creates more credibility for the readers and the general audience.
In most cases, the third person point of view narration is essential when the author is attempting to introduce the audience to a plethora of characters. This piece achieves this by using this point of view. For instance, the author asserts that “Malick’s film is one to watch again and again, where new meaning that you didn’t see in the first viewing would be revealed in the second.” From this statement, the reader of the review is more likely going to be interested in knowing more about the film. This is because by using the third person point of perspective, the narrator acts as a witness to the movie hence giving the review more credibility.
Every literary work must combine all its aspects to come up with the result that helps communicate a message that appeals to the most significant percentage of the audience. ‘The Tree of Life’ movie review has achieved this by combining different stylistic devices to appeal to its broad range of audiences. Therefore, it would be correct to argue that it plays a crucial role in helping the author achieve the purpose of writing it.