Analysing Film Posters
The main purpose of film posters is to attract the targeted audience to watch a particular film. Film posters try to be as intriguing as possible and use many techniques to persuade the audience to go and watch the film. Some of these techniques are using bold colours which stand out from the background, persuasive language such as reviews form critics and pictures of the central characters. A successful film poster will accomplish attracting the target audience and persuade them to come and watch the film. A film which tries to achieve what is mentioned above is ‘Bend It Like Beckham’.
This film concentrates on how a young female who is growing up in a traditional Indian family, struggles to achieve her dreams of becoming a successful footballer due to her parents strict traditional values. This essay will analyse how effectively three posters emphasize different aspects of this film. On the first poster, there is a central image of a woman who has her back turned to the audience and is holding a pair of football boots behind her. The audience may feel a sense of secrecy involving the lady as she is trying to avoid revealing the pair of football boots.
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We can assume that the central image has some sort of connection to football but is unable to reveal her interest in it. It appears that she is wearing a pink traditional Indian saree which is very womanly, however, as she is also holding a pair of football boots, this may connote that there is conflict between her tradition and her desire to play football. In the background we are able to see the sky, which represents her ambitions to become a footballer. Also, the sky shows that someone may be able to rise up into the sky, and in the central characters case, to fulfil her ambitions.
The contrast between the boots and the Indian clothing may suggest that she cannot completely break away from her traditional values. The words “Bend It” written on the poster means to literally bend the ball into the goal, however, it may connote that the central character has to ‘Bend’ certain things for her to achieve her ambitions; this is most likely to be her family. Under the film title we can see that there is a review made by a critic ‘A winning comedy’ which is an illusion as in football one team either wins or loses.
Correspondingly, we are able to see the two central characters in the second poster ‘Jesse’ who is played by Parminder Nagra and ‘Joules’ played by Keira Knightly. They appear to be wearing western clothing which shows their interest in football. The mood of the poster is happy and upbeat as we can see both characters holding each other and laughing, this illustrates that their relationship in the film is very close. The way they are standing is sort of an angle which a ball may bend towards.
It is clear that this film has a lot to do with traditional values in a family, and we can see in the background, characters who play the central characters family. They are wearing traditional Indian clothing with the character in the middle wearing a wedding saree which is a contrast between the Indian culture and the western. The family in the background are creating a ‘wall’ which in football is used to stop the ball from entering the goal, in the central characters it has a symbolic value, as her family are trying stop her from playing football as they want her to be more traditional.
The main reason ‘Bend It’ is used in the title of the film is because it connotes that the teenager will try to ‘Bend’ the rules of her tradition in order to achieve what she aspires. Also, in the background we can see that her family seem to be confused by her action and are pleading with her to stop playing football. Another connotation is the green colour used in the font of ‘Bend It’ which represents the green football pitch. Lastly, the reviews of critics are used to attract the targeted audience such as ‘Hilariously funny and fresh’.
Correspondingly, in the third poster there is also a central character ‘Jesse’ who appears to be at the corner of the poster and most of her face is obscured. She is also holding a ball over her head as if she is going to throw the ball. The reason that her face be concealed may be because she is trying to hide something from her parents which may upset them; this gives a sense of secrecy. The football may symbolise her desire to play football.
The audience can surely notice that there is an Indian piece of jewellery on the girl’s forehead which tells that she comes from a traditional background but also the same pattern of the jewellery is printed on the football, this may contrast her desire to play football and her tradition. Similarly to the second poster, there are the central characters family who are all wearing traditional clothing and have a puzzled expression on their faces. They all seem to be in the way of the goal, which may connote that they are trying to stop her from what she wants to do.
Next to the family members is a white teenager who the audience assume to be the girls friend. Oppositely to the family her friend is wearing very sporty western clothing which is a contrast between both cultures. The background colour of the poster is blue which represents the sky; however, it also connotes the central characters ambitions to achieve her dream of becoming a footballer. There is a substantial amount of critical reviews on the poster which adds to its appeal to attract the audience. All three posters have some similarities and differences, some of which may not be visible.
It is obvious that the issue of tradition and culture it represented on each poster and they all try to emphasize it as much as possible. In the first poster we notice that the central character is wearing traditional Indian clothing, similarly, in the second and the third poster we see that the family in the background are all wearing traditional outfits. Both the first and the last poster have a sense of secrecy in them, this is shown as in one poster the girl is turning her back away from the audience and in the last one most of the central characters face is obscured.
However, the second poster is not as secretive as we see both of the main characters holding each other playfully and wearing western clothing. This poster seems to be more open about the central characters ambitions and they are not afraid of hiding it. The title of the film ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ has a very sporty portrayal to the audience, this is also shown in the images used in each poster, such as, the first poster the girl is holding a pair of football boots, in the second poster they are wearing quite sporty clothing and in the last one the girl is holding a football over her head.
Each poster tries to depict a mood to the audience as they want to let them know what kinds of emotions are shown in the film. As it appears, the first poster does not seem to have a very upbeat mood about it and seems to be more tense which may suggest that there may be some conflict in the movie. correspondingly, in the third poster the central character is smiling as she is holding the ball which shows an upbeat mood however as her face is not completely unveiled the audience may suspect that there may be conflict in the film.
Whereas, the second poster is completely different as both main characters appear to be happy and open about their emotions rather than keeping them hidden. A wide variety of people are represented in the posters and the most noticeable would be the central character ‘Jesse’ who appears on every poster. The audience may assume that she is young teenager who has ambitions to do something she enjoys. On the first poster we see her carrying a pair of boots, in the second poster she is playing around with her friend and in the third poster she is holding a ball.
Also, in the second poster the clothes she is wearing may indicate that she prefers to be more western than completely following her tradition. On the other hand, her family in the background are all wearing traditional clothing and want ‘Jesse’ to dedicate herself to their tradition rather than playing football. We see on the third poster that there I a close friend of ‘Jesse’ standing next to her family wearing sporty clothing which may represent a more western culture. As mentioned before the whole purpose of a film poster is to attract a particular audience.
Each poster tries to target a specific group of people. In the first poster the central character is wearing traditional clothing and the mood does not seem to be happy, so I would guess that this poster is targeting a more mature audience like adults rather than teenagers. However, the second poster appears to be doing completely the opposite by using very bright colours and the font is more appealing to a younger audience. Also, the characters ‘Jesse’ and ‘Joules’ are both acting in a childish manner by play fighting which may suggest that it is targeted at young teenagers.
Similarly, the last poster portrays the main character as being more upbeat and happy and the background colours seem to be brighter which may appeal to younger people. On the whole, each poster was successful at accomplishing what they want but I think the last poster is the most encouraging in terms of attracting more people as it uses a range of different colours and the characters, especially the main one, is portrayed as being more accurate at showing the audience what the film is about.