Time was the hero of Lee Toland Krieger’s film: “The age of Adaline” directed in 2015. The film focuses on the idea of the truth of human nature: Adaline Bowman represented the humanity in general and served as a cinematic vehicle for Lee to illustrate a universal subject which is immortality and eternal youth. The film’s theme is related to a complex love with the manipulation of time by a supernatural energy. A lot of people while ageing, wish to stay young forever, but “The Age of Adaline” sheds the lights and shows us the dangers and problems behind the immortality and eternal youth. The ups and downs of the plot are explored in an effective and moving way. Due to an unexpected car accident Adaline Bowman ceases to age after that time and remained 29 years old all her life. The movie shows Adaline’s melancholy due to her case and gives the appraisal of the importance of aging. Without the passing of time and growing old, life would be recurrent, sorrowful and unending. By the end of the film, Adaline makes the realization that something must change and the idea of a solitary gray hair became the immense sense of comfort for Adaline.
The story of the film is introduced by a nameless narrator who is telling the story of Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) married to a construction worker who left her with her lively daughter, Flemming (Ellen Burstyn). One stormy night, she had a car accident and due to an interaction of hypothermia and high-voltage electrical shock that altered her chromosomes, Adaline remained 29 years old for eight decades. Lee Toland Krieger’s choices of the technical and artistic elements of the film were arranged in a way that helped him to convey the theme of the film.
One of the elements that translates the director’s vision to the actual film is the photography. The cinematography of the film was exquisite:the shots included different characteristics such as focuses and colors that gave the feeling of being transported back in time to the 1960s. The film is a modern day setting and had a vintage feel to it that made the cinematic experience more charming. The type of camera shots was used on purpose. The director chooses the extreme long shot: taken from afar distance to establish the city where Adaline was moving to hide her secret from her friends, colleagues and from the police. It was used for the change of cities and to establishing the new one. The extreme close-up shots that focuses on a specific element, was specially use when Adaline was touching Flemming’s crimped hand; to show that the signs of aging did not show on Adaline due to her case. Also, to show the ring Adaline gave it to Flemming when she was younger as a memory from her while she was leaving her to move to another country. Furthermore, the close-up shots were used when Adaline and Ellis where in an intimate scene such as: the dinner in his house, when she was with him in his family’s house and when they were in the hospital while she was telling him the truth. Another element in the photography section is the camera angle. The camera angle was used selectively in the establishing scenes; the bird eye view was used in the extreme long shot to show the city Adaline moved to, but most of the scene in the movie was shot in an eye level camera angle. The use of colors in the movie was symbolic. Cold colors (blue, green. indigo) were used in forest scenes, accident scene. The colors become darker specially in accident scene to show the torment and suffers Adaline faced in her accidents. The warm colors( red, orange and yellow) were used in the New Year’s party, where she met Ellis to showcase the happiness and joy that surrounded them although she refused to talk to them and because Ellis did not knew about Adaline’s case that was an obstacle and tear them apart. Moreover, the use of black and white in flashbacks while showcasing Adaline’s past was also a way to show that she was remembering old actions happened from many decades. The type of lens used to shot this movie is a telephoto lens. In addition, the type of film stock was also a way that helped the director to convey the theme.
Under the watchful eye of the director, the editor creates a visual rhythm in the film that fulfills the director’s vision. In “The Age of Adaline” editing had a huge impact on the viewers experience. With the uses of many editing techniques such as match cuts, flashbacks, match on action the director transports the viewers back to Adaline’s past and the trials of her present.For instance,
Also music took editing form, because while she was talking with Ellis about his father the beat of the classical music moved to another flashback.
While the choice of visuals was effective and helped the director to convey the main theme of the film, the director focuses on sound as the second major element of the movie. The choice of sound tracks, music and any other voices presented in this film had the purpose to affect viewer’s perceptions and opinion. The movie begins with a soft music that put the viewers in the mood of the film. Then a nameless narrator starts describing the action happening while Adaline was moving cities to hide her secret. The narrator also narrates the past of Adaline while she was seeing some videos of her teenager years and explains the case of Adaline after the car accident. Moreover, at the end of the story the narrator tells how Adaline after her accident while she was leaving Ellis parent’s house returned un-ageless. the aim of the narrative part of the movie is to give us more information about Adaline’s past and case. In addition, the music was selected to convey the certain emotions and feeling for the viewers, especially in scenes like when she met Ellis in the New Year’s Eve party at the hotel, the emotional music when she was remembering the day she refused to date a guy (He is Ellis father) because she was afraid that he could reveal her secret, the Jazz music when she was eating with Ellis in his house to convey his style and type, the soft and classical music when she wanted to leave Ellis for the second time, the intimate music was integrated when she was with Ellis in the hospital and telling him the truth. Moreover, the sound levels were high, peak and intense scene such as the accident scene and the forest scene when she was leaving, and the levels where more deeper and lower in scene that convey harmony and tenderness, such as scene with Ellis or scenes when she was with her aged daughter. Sound effects were used the stimulate reality such as the opening and closing of a door, the heart machine in the hospital. This effective choice of music, sounds and voices helped the director to stimulate reality and create a mood that introduced important elements of the plot that helped the viewer to understand the main theme of the film.
The beginning and the end of the movie were also selected by the director for a specific purpose: the movie begins with a fade in on the Earth from space, then the view is closer until we reach Adaline’s taxi moving her to China town while the narrator was telling the action. The fading in connotates the birth of a person on planet Earth. The closing scene is the opposite of the beginning from a closer view of Earth to a wider view of the Earth from the space while also the narrator was telling what happened on the day when Adaline returns to her natural aspect to a fade out. The fading out connotates the death of a person leaving on this planet and that nothing will stay forever and immortally. Both scenes are similar visually and audibly and it is a director choice to tell the viewers that everything have a beginning and an end.