Attila Marcel Analysis

Attila Marcel Analysis
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The play, Attila Marcel was written by the French comic writer, film director, and animator, Sylvain Chomet (b. 10 November 1963).

            In the play, Paul is doing his thirties in Paris with two aristocrats and his aunts who have raised him since he was two, right through to his adulthood. This is because Paul was orphaned by his parents’ mysterious deaths- something he saw and got traumatized by. The dream that Paul’s guardians have for him is to have him become a renowned virtuoso pianist. Working on the grand piano situated in the living room, attending his aunt’s dancing classes where he serves as the accompanist and daily domestic routines make up Paul’s daily life. Paul is cut off from the external world and ages without having experienced real life. This happens until one day he meets his neighbor who lives on the fourth floor, Madame Proust. Madame Proust possesses the recipe used to make herbal tea. Proust uses herbal tea and music to resurrect deeply buried memories. This is the case with Proust. Madame Proust helps Paul to rediscover his past and to find this helps Paul to find the key to help him finally live a good and more coherent personal life.

            There are several values and features that are observable in the play, Attila Marcel. One of the observable features of the play is the playwright’s use of anachronism to emphasize the motif and to illustrate the play’s plotline. This is seen in the instance Paul is shown to be in his 30s yet he is still engaging in the annual young pianist contests and doling out chouquettes like dog biscuits. The fact of the matter herein is that Paul is expected to have grown out of these endeavors by far. The playwright uses this to emphasize Paul’s underdevelopment and the extent to which Paul’s witness of his parents’ demise affected him adversely. The same delay in Paul’s psychosocial and cognitive development also underscores the strength of Madame Proust’s therapy, for the delay was great and inherent in Paul’s person.

            The playwright also uses a lot of symbolism in the play. Madame Proust specifically, stands in the place of Paul’s parents and a psychotherapist. This is illustrated by the fact that by having social contact with her, Paul is able to piece together, a distraught and suppressed impression of his beautiful mother, Mrs. Fanny Touron, and his father, a professional wrestler who had the stage name, Attila Marcel.

            There are several features and effects that characterize the play and help it underscore the theme that the playwright intends to put across. For instance, there is the use of the camera to provide the audience with the desired viewership. For instance, Paul’s infant life is entirely presented in a POV (point of view shot). This is done so as to enable the audience to see how the main character (Paul) is looking at things. The audience is also able to study the character’s reaction to different circumstances. This enables the audience to get more acquainted with Paul’s childhood.  The use of the POVs also helps the playwright and the director of the play to hint that flashbacks are being used. The same also helps the audience to identify the flashback sequences and to understand the play.

            Again, it is true that every trip is punctuated with musical tunes and songs. All the songs had been composed by Franck Monbaylet and the director of the play. For instance, scenes that depict Cherbourg-Esque seaside scene are accompanied by hot jazz music from a band of human-like frogs. That this approach is deliberate is a matter that is underscored by the film’s most colorful set-piece being choreographed with a combination of wrestling and tango.  The import of this is to help the audience follow along (by being attentive), build tension and desired emotional build-up, facilitate transitions within the plotline, and convey special effects.

Works Cited:

Chomet, Sylvain.  Attila Marcel. Retrieved on June 7, 2014, from http://www.gusmancenter.org/events/ Electronic