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Psychoanalytic Theory In The Film Lalaland

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Psychoanalytic theory is about how to understand the characters’ deep feeling and emotion from their actions and conversation. ‘Lalaland’ tells the love story between a jazz pianist and an actress who both have dreams. In 2017, ‘Lalaland’ won the best film of the 74th Golden Globe Music Comedy. As far as I am concerned, “Lalaland” is a very excellent movie which include many deep meanings. The actors use their outstanding acting to show the characters’ all kind of emotions and psychological change. Therefore, If we connect the Psychoanalytic theory with “Lalaland”, we can find out the characters’ rich feelings and emotions of the love and dream.

To begin with, the love story between the man and the woman is shown in the film. Sebastian was a jazz pianist who had to perform in a pop-music band to make money. He was very strict with the performance of art, and was dissatisfied with his friends’ jazz innovation. He wanted to open his own jazz club to save the jazz that has lost his traditional features. Mia was a waitress in the restaurant, but she had a dream of becoming an outstanding actress and playwright. She worked hard to find opportunities to perform, but the casting directors were indifferent to her performance. After met Sebastian, who played jazz in the bar, the same artistic ideals made them attractive to each other and became lovers. Through the actions and dialogues of

man(Sebastian) and woman(Mia), we can also feel their views and psychological changes in love. For example, when they first met, Mia was deeply attracted to Sebastian, who was playing the piano. She stood there and couldn’t move. It can illustrate her love for Sebastian at first sight. But when Sebastian walked indifferently from her side, her expression could show that she was a little angry. As another example, when they became the lover, everything was fine in the beginning. However, when Mia called her mother to talk about Sebastian’s work problems and worried about the economic conditions for them in the future, Sebastian heard it and just came out the room but returned one step to the room immediately. It can be seen that Sebastian was also very entangled in this issue. He loved Mia very much and wanted to give Mia a good life, but he didn’t want to give up his dreams. This step he retired was both a step in his retreat from reality and a step back for Mia. In his subconscious, he had some inferiority and self-blame, so he began to change. From that day on, Sebastian began to look for other jobs. This was a huge change he made for Mia, which let people feel moved and saddened.

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In additions, the characters’ feelings of dream also can be discussed by Psychoanalytic theory. In the beginning, both of Mia and Sebastian own their great enthusiasm towards dream. One dreamed to be a famous actor, and the other endeavored a lot in Jazz music. For example, in the movie Mia stay up late to write screenplays and rehearsal everyday. This can show her persistence on her dreams. However, after they broke up in the relationship, Sebastian gave up his dreams and Mia will not daydreams any more. Even when Sebastian suggested her to participate

in the interview, she still chose to evade. This scenario illustrates that Mia recognized reality and gave up to do any useless endeavors. On the other hand, in order to maintain his life, Sebastian had to against his beliefs to join a pop music band. When he was performing on the stage, it is a great view how he is. While on the moment he saw Mia and force himself to make a smile, audiences can deeply understand his helpless. Los Angles is a city where reality and romance both exist, many people say the film is a love letter from the director to Los Angeles. In this city, dreams are more important than anything else. From the behavior and emotional changes of both men and women, we can feel their struggles in the face of dreams and reality, and gradually mature psychologically. However, dreams are the driving force for them to live.

To sum up, love and dream are the two main topic in this film, we can learn many things from this film and always think that the characters are very similar to ourselves. The main characters in the movie have the very rich emotion and feelings. Their psychological change can be shown on each stage of the film by their actions and conversation.

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Psychoanalytic Theory In The Film Lalaland. (2021, October 05). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 3, 2022, from
“Psychoanalytic Theory In The Film Lalaland.” Edubirdie, 05 Oct. 2021,
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Psychoanalytic Theory In The Film Lalaland [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Oct 05 [cited 2022 Dec 3]. Available from:
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