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The Last Song: Book vs Film
Transcript of The Last Song: Book vs Film
The Last Song: The Book
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Published: September 8, 2009
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Mise en Scene
Book vs Movie
Ronnie is the main character that changes the most.
In the beginning of the book she doesn't see how these life experiences have changed her forever, "Ronnie hesitated; with a sigh, she began to tell a story that still felt utterly senseless to her, even with the benefit of hindsight" (Sparks 5)
. We first see her as this resentful, rebellious teenager who doesn't want even want to talk to her dad, but by the end of film and book, she and her father have rebuilt the strong bond that they had. On her first day, when she runs into Will he can see past the hard exterior that she has put up, for example in the book she helps a little boy from getting hurt when, Will's friend, Scott and Marcus were fighting. The next day she discovers a turtle's nest outside the house.
Will spends the night with her as a
but in the film her dad comes out and separates the chairs and draws a line in the sand with his heel.
After Blaze got Ronnie in trouble with the law purposely, she stopped hanging out with her. Despite what blaze did to her, Ronnie is always there to save her. In the book, Blaze in set fire by one of the fireballs and she and Will rush her to the hospital. In the film, she gives her about $200 dollars after her mom and Marcus kick her out. As both the film and book progress, Ronnie starts changing her hair and clothing to more sophisticated clothing; the biggest transformation was at the wedding. In the book when it is time for Ronnie to come home, she stands up and says no and stays with her dad to take care of him. At this time she learns that her mom was the one that had the affair instead of her dad which is who she originally thought it was. In the film, the dad is the one to have the affair or it is at least implied.
Another major difference is how Ronnie's dad dies. In the film, she is playing the piano fixing their song and then as she finishes the song she looks up and sees her dad's glass of water and tipped over symbolizing death and the ending of his life.
In the book, she plays the song and then another week passes before her dad dies in his sleep.
Miley Cyrus- Ronnie Miller
Greg Kinner- Steve Miller
Bobby Coleman- Jonah Miller
Liam Hemsworth- Will Blakelee
Carly Chaikin- Galadriel/Blaze
Screenplay: Nicholas Sparks & Jeff Van Wie
Director: Julie Ann Robinson
1. Dominant: You see Ronnie looking at the stained glass window
2. Lighting Key: High lighting key
3. Shot & Camera Proxmenics: Medium Shot
4. Angle: Slight low angle
5. Color Value: Ronnie is wearing black to show the death of her father and her mourning. The light shining through the window is her dad's presence.
6. Lens/filter/stock: Telephoto lens
7. Subidary Contrasts: The contrast is all of the colors of the stain glass window.
8. Density: High density
9. Composition: No composition
10. Form: Closed Form
11. Framing: Tight Framing
12. Depth: Foreground- Ronnie facing the window; Background- Stained Glass Window
13. Character Placement: Ronnie is placed at the bottom of the screen
14. Staging Positions: Ronnie- Back on Camera position
15. Character Proxemics: None
Ronnie is a rebellious 17 year old who lives in New York. She has been told she is spending the summer with her dad, who she has not talked to in 3 years, in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. She hates her parents for divorcing and stopped playing the piano and absolutely refuses to play ever again, even though she has amazing talent. When she arrives, she ignores her dad and keeps walking past and goes to the carnival. Here she runs into her summer romance, Will Blakelee, literally; she also meets her friend Galadriel, also known as Blaze. Ronnie thinks she has found her best friend for the summer however the relationship turns sour when Blaze puts CDs into Ronnie's purse because Blaze believed Ronnie was trying to steal Marcus, Blaze's creepy boyfriend. She is charged with another case of shoplifting and now has to deal with being charged with felonies. As all of this is going on Ronnie's relationship with Will continues to progress. Will sits with Ronnie outside to guard the loggerhead turtles from being eaten by the raccoons. They continue to spend every minute with each other during the summer going on dates and watching the turtles. Will asks Ronnie to go to sister’s wedding; upon her arrival, Will is in awe of her beautiful transformation to a punk chick to a beautiful lady. Soon after the wedding, it is finally time for the turtles to hatch. After they are done hatching, Ronnie notices that dad is coughing pretty badly. He ends up coughing up blood and they rush him straight to the hospital. Her dad calls the kids into the room separately telling them the devastating news—he has terminal cancer. Ronnie realizes that was the whole reason she and her brother were brought down here. He says to her, “Or maybe watching you enjoy a carefree summer while you fell in love was what kept me out of the hospital in the first place” (Sparks 369). Loving with all your heart and living your life to its fullest potential is the theme of the book. In this novel, we see Ronnie change from a rebellious teenager into the nice and loving grown woman that she was always meant to be.
to Steve's terminal cancer by mentioning at the beginning of the book how he has had all of these stomach problems all of his life, including having to get his appendix removed. This helps develop the theme by showing that life does indeed have it's bumps but we all do overcome them.
"He'd always had a weak stomach; in his twenties, he'd had an ulcer, he'd had his appendix removed after it had burst while Kim was pregnant....he'd been on Nexium for years, though he knew he could probably eat better and exercise more, he doubted that either would have helped. Stomach problems ran in his family" (Sparks 16).
When Ronnie is at the wedding she describes what has happened to the house in order for the big wedding. The reader gets a
of the flowers, the fancy art, and the ceremony. It connects to the theme because the wedding is celebrating the love found between two people.
"The back of the house had been completely restyled, and the pool had been covered with a temporary deck that looked anything but temporary. Scores of white chairs fanned across the surface, facing a white trellis where Megan and her fiance would exchange their vows... There were five or six intricately carved ice sculptures, large enough to hold their form for hours, but what really drew her interest were their flowers: The grounds were sea of brilliant gladiolus and lilies" (Sparks 304).
At the wedding, Marcus came to crash the party and succeeded. Ronnie had felt awful and Will's mother pinned all of it on her saying that it was all her awful. She then told Will that he should have never brought her here and that Ronnie wasn't the right girl for him. Will's dad ends up taking her home and Nicholas Sparks uses a
to describe it.
" She didn't throw up and didn't cry, but she didn't say anything in what had to be the longest car ride of her life. Nor did Tom, though that wasn't exactly surprising" (Sparks 318).
It didn't receive awards however I think it definitely deserved an award because I have never felt so many different emotions while reading a book. I would go from laughing, to sad, to angry, to content, to crying my eyes out. Also, the emotions just come out of nowhere I would read one line of something and it would just trigger a new feeling.
to Ronnie playing the piano again. In the beginning of the book she refused to play it period. In this allusion we can see her opening back up to the idea of music. It connects to the theme by life is just to short to hate something and learning to love again is a wonderful thing.
"It seemed almost contemporary, unlike the music he usually played, but even to her ears it sounded... unfinished somehow. Her dad seemed to realize the same thing because he stopped for a moment, appeared to think of something new, and started over from the beginning. This time, she heard the subtle variations he made. They were an improvement, but the melody still wasn't right. She felt a rush of pride that she still had the ability not only to interpret music, but to imagine possible variations" (Sparks 282).
Jonah is the character the brings the positive and the
out of any situation. He always this little one liners and has the kid innocence about him. It connects to the theme because it shows to live happily and not to dwell on the negative.
"Jonah shuffled his feet, something obviously on his mind. 'Ronnie didn't read any of the letters you sent her, Dad. And she won't play the piano anymore, either.' 'I know,' Steve answered. 'Mom says it's because she has PMS.' Steve almost choked but composed himself quickly, 'Do you even know what that means?' Jonah pushed his glasses up, 'I'm not a little kid anymore. It means pissed-at-men syndrome'" (Sparks 28).
full body shot
of Ronnie and Will. In this scene, we start to see that Ronnie isn't such a rebellious kid after all. She is willing to stay out all night just to watch turtle eggs so they aren't eaten alive by the raccoon.
In this scene, Ronnie and her dad are having a conversation about her day with Will. This is one of the points where she and her dad slowly start to get along again and are getting to know one another again. The
is from the workbench and the lamp; everything else is blurred out from the lack of light so it forces us to focus on their faces and their expressions.
Ronnie is shot from a slight low angle. By having it at this angle it shows how powerful her transformation is; from the rebel child to the sophisticated lady.
This is a
medium close-up shot
. It's shot from the shoulders past the head. We get to see that Ronnie has finally come around to playing the piano again and is intently concentrating on fixing her dad's original song called For Ronnie.
In this scene, the
is symbolic. The light shining through the window is her dad. He said before he died, "I call it God Light, because it reminds me of heaven. Every time the light shines through the window we built or any window at all, you'll know I'm right there with you okay? That's going to be me. I'll be the light in the window" (Sparks 408).
Year of Release: 2010
BMI Film Music- Film Music
Kid's Choice Awards (USA)- Favorite Actress: Miley Cyrus
Teen Choice Awards- Hissy Fit: Miley Cyrus, Breakout Male: Liam Hemsworth
This movie wasn't nominated and didn't win an Oscar or any other major awards because it went up against movies such as
The King's Speech, Black Swan, and True Grit. The Last Song
is a good movie and made me cry at the end of the movie as well as making me laugh out loud. However, to be honest considering its competitors, the movie wasn't as well made as the others.
In the scene where Ronnie's dad dies, it starts off with just the sound of her lifting up the cover of the piano and her beginning to play the song. She stops and then fixes the melody to fit a better variation. As she is doing this, the sounds keep playing, but the screen is showing how she is helping her dad and then as she finishes the last chord, her father dies, symbolizing the end.
Nicholas Sparks actually wrote the screenplay for
The Last Song
before he even wrote the novel. It wrote a nice outline for the book.
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