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Qualities Of Better Films #9 of 31: Communication Of Themes

Film is a dialogue with the audience. To work on both an intellectually & emotionally engaging level, audiences need a communication of both ideas and emotions. Audiences appreciate walking away from a film having understood or recognized something about their lives and world better than before. A well-done communication of themes leaves audiences with a clarity at the film’s conclusion. When done well, an audience member can go back and look at how each scene and element helped the theme to not only be expressed, but also to evolve and impact us.

In short, do we get it? Beyond plot, what is the film about? Well-done communication of themes does not mean that a film has to have a message; a theme may just be a subject, like love or the family — but when done well, the audience can appreciate each element as part of a unified whole. Communication of themes allows the take-away from a film to be more than just passage of time or the witness to a story. Communication of themes allows the audience to be rewarded for surrendering their ninety minutes with a deeper appreciation of an idea, an emotion, a time, or a place.

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