By: Cheyenne Kidd
Within the first scene and throughout (2007), music plays an important role in setting the tone both physically and metaphorically with the help of the three appeals: logos, pathos, and ethos. The movie begins with the main character and his father pictured fishing in a lake sharing a touching moment about finding yourself. The song playing in the background included violins, but no lyrics, allowing the audience to focus on the close relationship between the two characters. On screen violins are playing and happiness can be felt as the scene continues. The instrument helped to create the pathos of the scene by providing soft background noise and a serene vibe throughout the scene in order to lure the observer into a false sense of security. Later, the logos of the song choice comes into question when the two characters get in a car accident. The father gets hit straight on, resulting in his death while the main character, Shia LaBeouf, who was driving the vehicle survived. Without the former scene of the two characters sharing a special moment with calming music in the background, the death of his father would not have the same impact. Prior to this film, LaBeouf gained fame in the hit Disney channel show Even Stevens and Disney movie Holes. Within his role on Even Stevens he played the youngest of seven siblings known for his mischievous and humorous behavior. His ethos, or brand, as an actor started as one known for comedy, but with his starring roles in Holes and now in he showed that he can do serious acting as well. He showed off his acting skills during this scene which became more evident due to the director's musical choice.
A second scene where music aided in the story telling comes later in the movie when LaBeouf's character receives house arrest as a punishment for lashing out at his teacher. The song titled "Lonely Day" by System Of A Down plays in the background as the audience watches him clean the house, you guessed it, alone. System Of A Dawn utilized logos and pathos with their lyrics, "Such a lonely day and its mine.The most loneliest day of my life," which directly correlates with the loneliness he seems to feel due to his forced home imprisonment. The presence of lyrics in this situation helps to further cement the mood of total isolation from the outside world, and the fact that he has no one to keep him company all day. Along with the lyrics, the overall slow pace of the song added to the scene in a meaningful way. The entire scene only lasted around two minutes, but with the use of a slower song, the duration seemed longer. Logically the song fits within this scene because of perceived boredom that LaBeouf exhibited previously. An emotion of depression and sadness becomes evident by his defeatist attitude coupled with the song choice as shown here. System of A Dawn, a heavy metal band from California, had gathering popularity beginning in 1992. By the time their song made it into the film they had multiple albums and become one of a few people who had two number one albums in one year. The ethos they bring as a band could have played a part in the credibility of the song used as well as it's obvious correlation to the scene.
Overall, soundtrack featured a variety music ranging from classical violin to music from a heavy metal band. Despite this variety I would give the soundtrack a 4 star rating. The soundtrack did not get the full five starts because even though the songs helped to enhance both of the scenes mentioned above, throughout the movie I felt some of the other music fell short. For a thriller, not all of the songs succeeded in getting my heart rate up or drawing me further in to the scene. Towards the end of the film it became easier and easier to look away; and in my opinion it was the job of the music to keep me engaged even if the scenes were lacking.