Depth in the background music
by Jaelan Austin
When discussing a film and it's compelling nature, a lot of detailed aspects come to light in order to fully understand all the intertwining parts working to accomplish one goal. That goal being the delivery of the movie's theme and message to it's audience. Components such as, acting skills, film editing, cinematography skills, setting, and score (music). Though, whats most commonly acknowledged and absorbed by the viewers is the gravity given by the music added in a movie. A movie's soundtrack can essentially make or break it. Music adds tone, mood, and makes the purpose of each scene easier for the audience's mind to digest. For this blog, I chose to use the movie Love and Basketball as my prime example of the effects of a movie's soundtrack.
Love and Basketball is romantic movie that revolves around sports, thus reaching out to the specific audience of athletes and their "love life". To summarize the story of this classic film, the two main characters (Quincy McCall and Monica Wright) are introduced to each other as children when they become neighbors. Almost instantaneously there's what most can identify as "puppy love" between the two. Although, the puppy love between these two would be overshadowed by competition amoungst the two, because hey they are athletes. We get to see the two competitive love birds grow up from kids to young adults, competing for the most success in their basketball career and for each other's heart. In the the end we get to witness a love triumphing over the adversities of being an athlete and being deeply in love.
The reason I chose this movie in particular is because it took full advantage of striking deeper empathizing from the audience with strongly relative music choice. Here is the full soundtrack from the movie:
The two songs I would like to focus and go into detail about are "I Want To Be Your Man" by Zapp & Roger and "Fool Of Me" by Me'Shell NdegeOcello. In the movie scene, where Quincy McCall and Monica Wright find themselves at their high school prom with dates that aren't each other. The romantic tension builds when the two are "slow" dancing with their dates right next to each other. The whole time being the two were gazing upon each other so affectionately that their eyes were interlocked. While this scene is unfolding, the song "I Want To Be Your Man" is the song being played by the prom DJ. This notorious 80s love song provides an intense dialogue with its love insinuating lyrics, resulting in the two actors only having to gaze upon each other with a yearning expression and yet the audience is able to understand the two want to be together.
The next scene is in the end portion of the movie where we find the two back where it all started, the neighborhood basketball court. Quincy is engaged and recovering from a career ending knee injury and Monica is backed in town from her out-of-country professional basketball league. The theme in this film is a reoccurring phenomena, "the two see each other, realize the love has never died, and get together", only this last stand had all the external factors to make it so deep in emotion. Monica challenges Quincy in a game of one-on-one for his heart. We see Quincy hold nothing back in a highly passionate game that goes down to the last point where he wins and when it seems our hopes of the two soulmates getting back together are dead, Quincy says...."double or nothing?" This epic scene wouldn't strike nearly as much empathy from the audience without the song in the background. That song being "Fool Of Me", which provided the perfect dialogue for that scene, which would've been merely just a basketball game. But because they used a perfectly appropriate song, the message is smoothly translated.
This movie and its precise use of their soundtrack earned a rating of: