Humor in Film
The genre of comedy has always been an integral part of cinematography. Aiming at making people laugh, it offered casted or sarcastic mockery on weaknesses of human beings as well as the major systems in the society. The audience has always been amused by skillfully arranged comic situations, genuine characters, exaggerated language, and simple thoughtful messages. Apart from eliciting positive emotions, the movies belonging to this genre are not purely entertaining. The present humor refers to the classic moral themes, and, by revealing specific drawbacks of our society, it appeals to the audience and calls to think about important issues. Throughout the decades, comical cinematography has been centered on the common topics related to politics as well as cultural, racial, and social problems. While the messages have always been the same, the time and development of humanity have changed the methods of delivery. This paper aims at providing the analysis of an interpretation of the major topics in comedies and comparing the old movies to the modern ones. The material basis of the work is comprised by the three films that include The Duck Soup, The Great Dictator, and Some Like It Hot The first two movies refer to the issues concerning political and social aspects of human life. Duck Soup is a Marx Brothers` masterpiece that is centered on the warfare and rescue of a small country Freedonia. The plot is quite simple and even absurd to some extent; the country is at the verge of bankruptcy, and one rich lady offers her money to help, but under one condition. Her beloved R. Firefly has to become the leader of the country. As a cynical and brusque man, he acts as irrational dictator. At the beginning of his career, Rufus provokes the official representative of the neighboring country and sets the beginning of the war. The military conflict becomes tangled and mocked when the two Firefly’s spies enter the enemy’s country. The movie touches the issues of significant role of money in the society, hypocrisy of the officials, and blind patriotism. Moreover, the comical method of interpretation of the problems emphasizes the inclinations to subdue to similar leaders immanent to the majority of average people. There are no ducks and no soups; the film consists of numerous comical episodes that lack logical connections and systematic organization. The dialogues are constructed on the basis of the mixture of the real and figural meanings of the words accompanied by the songs. Another film related to the same political and social issues is called The Great Dictator. It is a political satire about the Nazi regime, which combines the elements of both comedy and drama. With Charlie Chaplin in a role of the main character, the film tells the story of the rise of the dictatorship in a peaceful country. The actions take place in the fictional country Tomania, and the movie starts with the story of how a Jewish barber saved life of one pilot named Schultz. After a few years, the control of the country passes to the Adenoid Hynkel who declares a ruthless dictatorship regime. A purge of Jewish people is a part of the new politics. Sharing similar appearance, both new dictator and the barber, who had just left the hospital, are engaged into the amusing whirlpool of occasions. The film represents the obvious parody on Hitler and his ruling regime. However, it emphasizes on the fact that similar problems have been encountered by numerous other countries. The final speech of the protagonist refers to the issues of greed, fake democracy and liberty that do not lose its relevance even in our days. Both previously indicated films have a number of features that are immanent to the modern sample of comic genre. These, first of all, include the symbolism of the names. The first movie, Duck Soup reflects the occasions that happen in the fictional country with a symbolic name “Freedonia.” The name itself may be interpreted as “the land of freedom,” however, the film ironically depicts it as the country occupied by dictatorship and subdued to the ruling power of money. Similar encoded name bears the protagonist of the film The Great Dictator. The very sounding of the name “Adenoid Hynkel” resembles the true name of the real-life prototype of this character. In such a way, the directors of the comedies attempt to speak ironically without any concrete facts. Indirect reference and the changes of the names have been caused by the strained political situation of the 1930 – 1940s. It was inappropriate to use the true names; however, the indignation of the political absurd could not be ignored. Nowadays, the cinematography has not focused that much on concrete political issues. There is no need to mask some painful issues under the cover of comedy. If there is a need to emphasize certain political or social issues, the directors would rather apply to the detective, thriller or drama. One film that may be compared to the previously indicated two is called The Dictator, which tells the story of a Muslim dictator who wanted to prevent the penetration of democracy in his country referring to the American-Iranian relationships. However, it does not have any hidden references; the language of its characters is more sarcastic and brutal, and the course of events is more pointless. The last film, which should be indicated in this paper, is called Some Like It Hot. It is a comedy about mixed identities and jazz music. Two musicians from Chicago have accidentally witnessed a crime and have to hide somewhere. They have to turn into ladies and move to another state. In Florida, they become members of a female jazz group and successfully conceal themselves until the great power of love makes them to commit numerous ridiculous actions. It is a romantic comedy that is related to gender and sexual issues. The entire film is weaved of curious twists of the plot that are impossible to trace. There are misfortunes that follow the protagonists and turn into funny entertaining situations. Clumsy dialogues and the plainness of the speech evidently distinguish it from the modern comedies that are often full of rude swearing. The tradition of masking the gender has been successfully preserved to our days. There is a number of great comedies, such as Mrs. Doubtfire or White Chicks, which apply the same element of comedy to confuse characters and elicit laughter from the audience. However, the old movie is more related to the role of females in the society and carries deeper massage than the modern performances. In conclusion, understanding of certain cinematographic genre undoubtedly requires the overlook of its historical perspective. Every epoch exists and develops on certain background and reasons that certainly influences its culture. The genre of comedy has occupied the central place in film industry through many centuries. It has always been related to the problems that bothered society. However, the modern comedies differ from the old ones. The three analyzed films demonstrate political and social limitations that forced directors to use comic genre in order to refer to some specific issues. The old movies are more simple and open than the modern ones. They are deprived of the tang of cynicism, sharp criticism, and tactless sarcasm. Political and social issues have always comprised eternal source of the plots and messages remaining in cinematographic genre until these days; however, the delivery has changed. If the article was cognitive for you, proceed to read other articles on affordable papers.com. Most of the articles are written by Lily Johnson, a professional writer.