The proposal is a ‘romantic comedy’, starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. On the verge of deportation Margaret (Sandra) announces her engagement to her unsuspecting assistant Andrew (Ryan). After blackmailing Andrew for a promotion he agrees to this arrangement and the couple fly to Alaska to visit Andrews family and celebrate his ‘gammy’s’ 90th birthday. They have four days to convince his family and a very skeptical immigration officer.
(The proposal, 2009, Touchstone Pictures and Directed by; Anne Fletcher) Fig 2
The overall message of this Mise-en-scene, is dominance and power, reflecting the dominant hegemonic group for females. This Mise-en-scene shows gender reversal, portraying Margaret as the dominant character, this is show in many ways, for example Andrew holding Margaret’s handbag. The frame of this mise-en-scene is a mid shot, with front focus on the main characters, Andrew and Margaret. The lighting is bright reflecting daytime as sunlight streams through the glass windows.
To denote this frame, you can see sky scrappers through the windows which gives the idea of a city perhaps like New York, representing an office in New york which suggests power. The dominance of clothes such as suits helps to reinforce the Legemonic values of a professional and powerful boss which suggests a conservative dress. The use of verbal language also reflects this as Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) addresses Margaret (Sandra Bullock) with a cup of coffee and also says “Morning Boss”. The use of a red tie, connotes the idea of romance or passion which reflects the genre of the film. Margaret’s body language also connotes power, with her strong posture and combed back hair, she is also wearing high heels and makeup, which show her femininity and power which shows a mixed message however connotes femininity along with dominance. Margaret’s office is clean and modern, she also has manuscripts all over her desk, showing her professionalism. Her dominance is shown over Andrew, as he is holding her handbag, his expression is slightly tense showing her control over him, this is shown by Peirce’s ‘indexical signs’ through facial expressions. However Andrew’s expression is unusual or abnormal of the traditional hegemonic ‘norms’ governing gender within a business, for example traditional hegemonic rules would suggest that the Andrew is dominant in this film. Her expression is slightly annoyed, and Margaret’s expression is nonchalant, showing her control over Andrew once again. Elements are power are shown in this mise-en-scene as the hegemonic group is portrayed in this film, for example Andrew is the dominant hegemonic male, who is white, tall and attractive. Margaret’s character is much the same, as her dominance is reflected in her heels, makeup, and fitted suit. The mise-en-scene also represents a busy society and white culture. Sign’s such as Margaret’s sky scrappers, help to contribute to the overall meaning of power and wealth, they also help to reinforce the dominant hegemonic group in society, as powerful and professional white Americans.