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Analysis of The Film Legally Blonde from a Semiotics Approach

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Drawing from a semiotics approach this essay will explore the way that cinematics signs and codes convey meaning to the film Legally Blonde.

Semiotics is the study of signs and sign-using behavior. It was defined by one of its founders, Ferdinand de Saussure, as the study of “the life of signs within society.” Even though the word was used in this sense in the 17th century by the philosopher John Locke its only during the late 19th and early 20th centuries with the work of the philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce and Saussure that it is ‘created’ the idea of semiotics as method for examining singularities in different films of our world. For example, when we come are driving or walking and come across the different colors of a traffic light, we respond to them immediately, almost without even thinking. This happens since the traffics lights are a sign which has been established over a long period of time and we have been taught since a very young age how to react to it and needs a great deal of unconscious cultural knowledge to understand its meaning as well. Our thoughts and actions are not accidental and that is due to a methodical planned set of cultural messages and conventions which depend on our capability to understand them instinctively and immediately. Semiotics is a tool that guarantees that supposed meanings are clearly understood by the people. As time went by so did Semiotics and to summarize his evolution here it is a quick summary of the evolution of semiotics: studying the meaning of words (linguistics). Later on moved into studying society’s behavior (anthropology and psychology), after become a way into sociology and philosophy which is the study of culture and society, following that it moved onto analyses of art products like films or literature and more recently became a practice for researching and analyzing consumer behavior. 

With that we get to Film Semiotics. Film communicates meaning denotatively and connotatively. What the viewers sees and hears is denotative, it is what it is, and they don’t need to endeavor to remember it. In the meantime, these sounds and pictures are conative and the way the scene is shot is intended to bring out specific emotions from the viewer. Implication commonly includes passionate hints, target translation, social qualities, and ideological suspicions. As indicated by Christian Metz, ‘The study of connotation brings us closer to the notion of the cinema as an art (the “seventh art”).’ Within connotations, paradigmatic connotations exist, which would be a shot that is being contrasted and its undiscovered mates in the worldview. A low edge shot of a rose pass on a feeling that the blossom is by one way or another overwhelming or overwhelming because we unwittingly contrast it and an overhead shot of a rose which would decrease its significance. Syntagmatic connotation would not contrast the rose shot with other potential shots yet contrast it and real shots that go before or tail it. The importance clings to it since its contrasted with different shots we really observe. 

Metonomy alludes to the capacity of a sign to speak to something while truly just being a piece of it. A case of this is the Eiffel Tower, which is a metonomy for Paris. Film utilizes metonyms usually on the grounds that they depend on the external to uncover the interior. Another ground-breaking semiotic device for filmmaking is the use of analogies, which are characterized as an examination between two things that are random however share some regular characteristics. In film, a couple of back to back shots is symbolic when there is a suggested scrutiny of the two shots. For example, a shot of a plane followed by a shot of an eagle would be metaphorical, deducing that the plane is (or resembles) the eagle. 

On the other hand, Narrative in film is known for having two segments; the story displayed and the process of telling or narrating it. Film narrative theory tries to uncover the evidently ‘roused’ and ‘common’ connection between the signifier and the story-world to uncover the more profound arrangement of social affiliations and connections that are communicated through narrative structure. A story might be told in different shapes and forms, like through oral or composed language; motions and trough static or moving images. There is narrative in all genres, from fantasy to comedy. In these forms, narrative exists consistently, in everything. Narrative starts with the historical backdrop of humankind.’ Film uses a mix of dialog, sounds, visual images, activities and gesture to make the story.

In conclusion, in Legally Blonde, there are numerous signs present that make a general message. The title, by itself, as of now imply that this story is going to be told by ladies or lady and implies that somebody who is blonde will portray its story. The story of the movie is told from a lady’s point of view and its signs are focused toward ladies in the age scope of the late youngsters and mid-twenties. As indicated by Anne Friedberg, ‘Recognizable proof with a film star does not involve a subjective decision, however it draws upon a collection of oblivious procedures. The film main characters are youthful and charming surely understood on-screen characters that numerous ladies may identify with or seek to resemble. These components are utilized to draw the viewer attention or interest. 

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Analysis Of The Film Legally Blonde From A Semiotics Approach. (2021, August 06). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 26, 2022, from
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