“The Model” analysis of the movie poster

We live in an age when popular culture surrounds us, it is right beside on every step we take. Being a big part of our everyday life we rarely do try to get to know it. We don’t realise how metaphoric, beautiful and descriptive it can be. In this post I will analyse ways in which the photograph on the poster of lately released movie “The Model” suggest a narrative and I will discuss the produced meaning.

“The Model” is a drama movie directed by Mads Matthiesen. It tells a story about a young, Danish girl, Emma (Maria Palm), who recently emerged her modelling career and was struggling to enter the Parisian fashion scene. Together with the main character we discover dark streets of Paris, dangerous aspects of work as a model and we try to distinguish who is her friend and who is just using her. The movie shows what the modelling industry does to young, inexperienced girls, how it manipulates and changes people, but as well how beautiful and engrossing it is once you enter this unfamiliar, strange world.

The poster concentrates on Emma’s face, main character in the film. It is kept in soft, dark colours, which seem to consume her. It can be easily assumed, only considering colours, that it won’t be a nice and easy romantic comedy, but a movie that demands its viewers to think, get into someone’s head and try to feel as the main character does.
The title of the movie, placed on her chin, looks as if written with a lipstick. It referes to the plot which concentrates on the industry tightly connected to look, beauty and fashion, just as the lipstic does being part of everyday makeup.

She looks straight in the viewers eyes, as if she could see us. It can be easily noticed that only half of her face is covered with really harsh, dramatic makeup, while on the other half you can barely see the eyeliner on her lid. It may suggest that the girl is confused when it comes to her identity, life choices and she still doesn’t know who she really is. On the other hand it is also an inference that she went through things that changed her, made her pretend to be someone who she is not. It certainly represents what the main character goes through – she is puzzled, lost, confused but yet excited and happy to be a part of a totally different, magical world.

While looking only at the part without hardly any makeup, Emma seems to be scared and tired. She looks as if she needed help, which in the movie she does need, but she had no one by her side to ask for it. The part of her face covered with makeup looks dangerous. Yellow eyeshadow on her lid, referring to the colours meaning, suggest that she is emotionally unstable, mentally analytical and self-critical, yet satisfied with her life choices, which doesn’t mean we can consider them as good ones.

What catches audience’s attention is a beautiful face of a girl which comes out of darkness. At first glance all you notice are her big, green eyes, symmetrical face, full lips. But the closer you come the more you see. Fear, disappointment as well as excitement in her eyes, half open lips, as if she wanted to say something but never did. And the shadows, consuming her, dragging her along to a distant, unknown place – probably referring to her mental condition and feelings.

This marvellous portrait picture holds secrets of the main character in the movie “The Model”. It shows how what you see is not what it is. Creating illusion of a graceful, happy girl, but when you come closer you can easily notice how broken, scared and confused the girl from the picture is. The longer the audience look at the photograph the more can be seen.