Film and Theatre: Is the novelty of cinematic romance lost in the 21st century?
FILM AND THEATRE: THE NOVELTY OF ROMANTIC MOVIES IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Change in Romance presentation in Films in the 21st Century
The subject of Romance in films has changed over the years. The “Romeo and Juliet” stories were the definition of films in previous centuries. People wanted to see romance in films (motion pictures at that time). However, there has been a difference in how films are being portrayed. Directors have opted to change the main themes in their films, and one of these changes is on the reduction of romance in films. This is an area worth considering especially with the possibility of the culture of romance which appears to lack space in the list charts of the modern-day moviegoers. Many reasons have created these trends and one of the modes in which films are being presented today. The chapter of the paper considers the possibilities of the romance culture being lost in the film and the possible reasons why this is being lost.
The Novelty of Romance in the 21st Century in Films
Understanding the change in film presentation as far as the theme of romance is of concern, there is a need to look a need of looking at how this theme was presented in the previous periods before the 21st century. Upon the discovery of film through motion pictures, the romance was the main theme that was presented, and this could heavily be due to the limitation of the theme (Litman and Kohl, 1989, p. 43). It was also because this invention was very amazing and pleasing to the audience. As a result, therefore, was a need for directors to ensure that this aspect of “goodness” was maintained through adopting themes that would be very appealing to the people. The theme of Romance in these films was therefore viewed as the best element of presentation in the films, and consequently this managed to attract many people to it (Thomas and Solom, 1979, p. 66).
There has been a special way through which these films were being presented. Looking at these films the theme was of a fairy tale love where the couples would end up living “happy after that” (Eco, 1985, p. 4). The theme was very important in making these films get a huge audience, and this could be attributed to the fact that love was highly respected, valued and popular with many people associating it with them. It “the perfect love” presentation in films was however becoming tiresome to the viewers since every aspect of it had been managed. Worth noting was the fact that the “perfect love” case was becoming more difficult for the directors because it limited their creativity and therefore opted to take a risky change of focusing on another presentation of romance. The tragic romance was the other theme adopted by the directors, and this is perhaps the theme which was being adopted by the directors in the mid and late 20th century (Eco, 1985, p.8). This was a type of romance was neither perfect. There was an element of tragedy that was introduced in the romance but was defeated by the power of “love.” These films managed to receive a large acceptance in the market because it was a new aspect of the presentation that was being displayed. The risk that had been taken by the directors had started paying off. Many films of this theme managed to get many views due to the “perfect” display of romance and examples include “Titanic” and “Four Weddings and a funeral” (IMDb, 2018, p. 1).
The Changed Presentation of Romance
In as much as one may opt to blame the directors of modern day films for having changed themes in films by replacing romantic themes with other themes, there is a need of looking at the issue on a different context. Directors are not there for the production of films alone but production of films that will make sales. The production of movies has ended up being very expensive, and the success of the director will be defined by the number of sales the movie will make and this also determines the possibility of the director to get another production budget (Konova, 2018, p.4). Therefore, it should be noted that modern-day films have been commercialized and therefore the aim of films is more of meeting the consumer needs of the viewers (Wasko, Phillips and Purdie, 1993, p. 277). It is from these grounds that the shift on why these themes have changed is shifted to the viewers.
The films today are aimed at ensuring that the ideals of the audience are taken into consideration, and the people need to associate with what is being communicated. Themes of romance become less popular, especially to the female viewers. This is because of the changed attitude toward love and romance (Vachon, 2018, p. 4). This is because romance of that time was viewed as being oppressive to the women where the woman was objectified. With the growing demands and appeals for women empowerment and feminism movement, the presentation of romance as it was being presented in the previous centuries and that is why, directors are trying as much as possible to avoid the controversies that may come along with the discrimination of women through the themes of romance (Dyhouse, 2015, p. 45). It is becoming challenging to present this theme without stepping on the subject of feminism which some directors are not in a good position to handle with discretion.
The culture has played a role in changing the absence of the theme of love in films. Starting it off is on the subject of millennials as the main market for the movies. Millennials as a group of the current generation have displayed some tendencies when it comes to their perspectives of themes of love in the film. The millennials are more concerned with superheroes rather than romance. The characterization of these superheroes movies can best be defined in the number of superheroes in 2016 aloe a these included “Captain America,” “Dead Pool” and “Doctor Strange” which happened to get the best views in the Hollywood despite the existence of other romantic films (Collider, 2018, p. 1).
Additionally, millennials have a different attitude when it comes to relationship and romance. To them, the live for the moment and being in committed relationships, and without commitment in relationships, romance does not exist. By directors bringing in love and romance in their relationships, there is a concern that millennials, the targeted viewers will end up not relating with the films and this would end up making the films to lack the audience. Importantly is that life goals are currently changing. The expectations and success of a person and the fulfillment is less reliable on love but rather professional fulfillment (Maslin, 2018, p. 7). The changed attitudes on romance have caused this, and therefore romantic films end up not having an audience.
Presentation of Films
The mode through which films are being presented is the 21st century defines a perfect degree upon which romance has ceased to exist in the modern day film. Previously, movies and films were appreciated through going to the cinema and also through the use of open theaters. These avenues were very convenient for romantic films because it was the place lover opted to go as dates (Mattias, 2016, p. 1). This notion has ended up changing in the 21st century where the people use cinemas as a place where they go for the thriller and less for romance. People would prefer going for the films for a film that is less of romance and more of the action in it. The film “Wakanda” is a perfect example of a film that sold many copies only because it had things that the people would easily associate with and this was not romance (Cooper, 2018, p. 4).
People watch films through streaming services and subscriptions. These changes have led to a change in the tests of the people also when it comes to the type of films that they prefer. There are many avenues through which one can be able to get these films through streaming and examples are HBO, Netflix among many other sites. Through this mode of delivery, it has become possible to determine the highest selling films through streaming, and Netflix is the main seller streaming services.
Understanding the film tests of the people calls one to look at the films that are selling the most in Netflix. It should be noted that Netflix has sold many copies of love films over the last few years and perfect examples include “Meet the Patels,” “Tramps,” “Blue Jay” and even “Napply Never After” released in 2018. It is only the “To All Boys I’ve Loved” that appears to be among the bestselling films in on Netflix with films on other genres appearing to sell more (Bailey, 2018. p, 1). This paints a picture of the changed attitudes and preference of the films that people prefer. Netflix has tried to have everything on its shelves, but it is evident the films with on other themes including superhero movies that have ended up being the most selling. These findings show that in future this theme will no longer be adopted in filmmaking.
The film industry of the 21st century is very much different from the industry of the previous century because of the declining theme of love promoted in these films. The theme of love appears to decline with time. The reason behind this has been forgotten, and this has been attributed towards the changing perspective of romance among the millennials who are the target audience for the films. Romance is no longer an accomplishment in life, and this is the reason people prefer hero movies. More so, millennials fail to associate with love and romance because most of them have ceased to believe on it and therefore they will not associate with the films that advocate for romance. It should be noted that films are produced at a high cost, and therefore the directors always ensure that they advocate for themes that they are sure will make sales and romance has been identified to lack this marketing catch.
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