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”Dear John” by Lasse Hallstorm

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Dear John is an endemic and heartbreaking story, which has a fiction story based on nonfiction events. This is a love story written by Nicholas Sparks. This novel was made into a movie and was directed by Lasse Hallstorm.“Dear John” the letter read. And with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives changed forever”

This movie is about a man called John Tyree, a guy who has recently graduated from high school, and has the dream of having an own and magnificent life thus, he signs up for the army, but time later he realizes that his life is going nowhere. He becomes an infantry man and gets to do several tours in different countries that are having armed conflicts, like Iraq. But with such drama, John gets to meet his true love long time after; in his hometown, Wilmington, North Carolina, beach, there she was Savannah a charismatic and lovely girl. Johns dream girl. Yes, here appears the basic routine of flirting: hugs, dates, kisses, mutual attraction, and getting to meet each other. But all these turn into a huge love, a kind of love that makes Savannah decide to wait for John, while he is in Germany. Their love grows and strengthens through the distance by romantic and devote letters, and it’s only until this moment that they start falling in love. Events of 9/11 are devastating for their relationship, and unexpectedly John receives the “kiss-off letter” or the Dear John letter. Now it’s all about John’s dilemma: what would he choose? Love or his country? When he finally returns to Wilmington, John discovers that loving Savannah will force him to make the hardest decision of his life, along with a non expected end.

Dear John opened in Spring 2001 and showed many similarities with A Foreign Field. They have similar plots, first of all is the long distance relationship between an ordinary girl and a soldier. In A Foreign Field, Ellen fell in love with Stephen–an English pilot, while in Dear John Savannah fell in love with John who is an American soldier. They kept writing letters to each other to keep up their relationships. The stories of these two couples are similar. And at the end, both of Ellen and Savannah didn’t married Stephen or John.

The actors in this movie was surprisingly brilliant to me. I actually labeled Channing Tatum as a rubbish actor and just a pretty face in my ‘Fighting’ review but after this one I have changed my mind, he is actual quite good in this film as the lead role. Tatum, had not previously shown any of his real acting skills, appearing in “Step Up” and “G.I. Joe.” He was much more convincing in the romantic lead role than I had thought he would be. He shows that he is more than just dancing, gun-slinging eye candy; he is a real actor. Maybe this type of role suits him better than any other. Amanda Seyfried who plays Savannah in Dear John is pretty great as well. She is a young and talented actress and to be honest I watched Mamma Mia with her in and thought she was a mediocre actress but in this she takes that thought right away. It’s true that Seyfried has already proven that she can act well, as she does in “Big Love.”

For her, it wasn’t as much of a surprise that she could successfully bring her character to life without being over-the-top. Now there is one actor I think is brilliant in any role he plays and that would be Richard Jenkins who plays as John’s dad. He is a great actor and possibly one of my favorite older actors. He was fantastic in Step Brothers and he is fantastic in this movie as well. Anyways bellow is a list of the actors/actresses and the roles they play in the movie. The cast includes Channing Tatum (John Tyree), Amamda Seyfried (Savanna Curtis, John love interest), Richard Jenkins (Bill Tyree, Johns dad), Henry Tomas (Tim Wheddion, Savannas neighbor who later became her husband), And Luke Benward ( Alan, Tim’s ,Autistic son) . Along with the actors there was also the crew members who made was able to make this movie possible. The crew member list includes Lasse Hallistorm (The Director), Jamie Linden (screenplay) Marty Bowen (producer) Deborah Lurie (music), Terry Stacey(cinematography), Kristina Boden (editing), Joanna Colbert, Mark Fincannon, Richard Mento (Casting), Kara Lindstorm (production design), Mark Garner (art direction), Summer Eubanks (set decorations) and Danna Campbell and Kathryn Langston (costume Design)

I enjoyed this movie more because it kept me guessing at what was going to happen next and always left me on the edge of mt seat. The general story of the movie is absolutely brilliant in my opinion and has to be one of the most enjoyable story lines I have ever seen. Surprisingly there was a lot of points during the movie that helped made this enjoyable were, besides the obvious the acting with the acting, the music, the lighting of the film, the special effects, and they way the director shot his scenes, the shooting of the film was used by the Panavision Cameras and Lenses camera.

The special effects are very good, although there aren’t loads and loads of them they do actually make an impact. Most of them come into play when John (Channing Tatum) is fighting in the Army, with some good shooting scenes and some explosion scenes looking almost real. Dear John is by far one of the best and most realistic movies I have ever seen and it does kind of show how some relationships are based like and what some people maybe going through. I adore movies like this, they remind me of one of my best friends whose in the Army and his girlfriend misses him its kind of identical maybe this is why I love movies like this I really don’t know. It has some funny moments so its not all serious, it has some perfect moments that feel like will never happen to us and it has the moments that will make some people cry or feel down. All in all a great movie and I would give it a solid 8/10! The run time for this movie is roughly 108 minutes and it is Rated PG-13 for some sensuality and violence.

It’s true that the movie itself is also unexpectedly well made in its cinematography and editing. It may not be award-worthy, but it is certainly artistically driven, a feature not usually seen in romance movies. Also positive is its inclusion of intense emotional issues, like war, cancer and Asperger’s syndrome. By far the most emotional of these stories is the subplot of John’s father, a coin collector who lives by a strict schedule. When Savannah tells John that she thinks his father has autism, he overreacts, reverting back to his violent past. As the film continues, John comes to terms with what Savannah says and tries to help his father any way he can, a storyline which really allows Tatum to show some of his acting range..

What interested me in Dear John was the fact that the story line was inspired by a current ongoing event, the war. This allowed me to view the war from a different point of view, with a romance story along side it. Upon completing the viewing of the movie, I came across a review by Nicholas Sparks, the writer of the story, referring to Dear John as an updated version of the 1942 movie Casablanca. Described as a parallel to the movie Dear John, that had my heart.

After enjoyably watching this movie that has a genre combination: drama, romance, and war – the “requisite gooey ingredients”, I followed up on viewing the movie once again. However, this time with an analytical eye, evaluating the creative elements used by the director in attempt to tell the story visually. These creative elements, shown through composition, camera, editing, perspective, and lighting techniques, generate a well-illustrated story.

Throughout Dear John, the basic cinematic technique “pan” is evident multiple times (Vineyard). The panning technique is used as they walk from the car towards the house, at the dinner table, and again when the window is used as a natural frame and pans Savannah driving away. This technique involves the camera moving along a horizontal axis, going from left to right or vice versa, giving a sense of a panoramic view. This technique is executed by a slow movement, orienting the viewer with the surroundings and the orientation, as well as evoking a broad range of emotions. As Savannah drives away from John, we are put into the perspective of looking out from the back of her car using the “pull back retraction” technique (Vineyard). The camera faces John standing there as the car and camera pulls away. This evokes a heart throbbing emotion in the audience from the action occurring in the scene, Savannah and John parting ways. This heart-wrenching emotion is also evoked in the Casablanca scene, however using different creative elements.

The Dear John scene ends using the “searching crane-up” technique, revealing John on the floor of the other side of the bed, reading the letter with a flashlight (Vineyard). This leads up to the creative reveal that not only was it Savannahs voice over narrating the scene but also it was the actual words from the letter that John is reading in the dark using a flashlight. This reveals the movies’ center on the Dear John letter, but taking a few unexpected paths.

The lighting in this movie helped everyone imagine where the characters were and the surrounding more efficient with the movie. In the beginning of the film when John jumps in the water to revive Savannahs purse the light is bright and full of color witch makes us believe that it is summer out because of how bight the surroundings are. Another lighting technique that stood out to me was in the surfing clips effectively deliver emotion, either happiness or frustration,depending on the scene. Each time John reads a letter from Savannah, the camera angles and lighting are spot on. The directing proves just as well when the two share their first kiss in the rain. When John is at war the lighting bounces back and forth from bright while being outside in the day time to dark and cold when there are shots of the night scenes. On the other hand, the love-making scene is meant to have moonlit lighting fora romantic, beautiful feel. But the scene is too dark, and the camera angle share all over the place.

The music in this movie had a little bit of ever genre. The music included songs from Taylor Swift, Dear John theme song, Little house witch was song by Amanda Seyfried, paperweight by Josh and Schuyler, Fisk and Joushua Radin, The swell Seasons, 311, The Donkeys, Wailing Souls, Rosi Golan,Rachel Yamagata, and Dan Wilson. Each song that was played threw out the movie fit Well into the scene it was played in. This music help the viewers ease into the scenes by playing songs that related to the movie. Even one of the actresses sung a song in this movie and it adjusted into the scene very well. It was the scene were John took Savannah back to his house and they were on the couch together and she was showing him how she could play the guitar and also how she sings. I think that clip helped John realized how much he really loved her, and the impacted she made on his feeling for her. Savannah.

There was a few scenes that had John and Savannah narrate when they were reading each others letter. The main narrator however is John. You can hear John in the very Beginning of the movie when he is shot and he is talking about coins. With his and her narration of the film it helps express the love that they had for one another. Also John Narration helps show the viewers his story and I think it s his role for a better understanding of John. Also, in the movie I think that there are some very inspiring Quotes used by the actors, for example one is by Savannah “The problem with time, I’ve learned, whether it’s those first two weeks I got to spend with you, or the final two months I got to spend with him, eventually time always runs out. I have no idea where you are out there in the world, John. But I understand that I lost the right to know these things long ago. No matter how many years go by, I know one thing to be as true as ever was – I’ll see you soon then.” I think that with her narrating this quote its shows her true emotion on how she really feels for John, And with her adding ” I’ll see you soon then” in her letter that she try s to tell John how she misses him, because I’ll see you soon then is a saying that they’ve always said since they were dating, I think with her saying that in her letter that she was showing us viewers a sign of hope that one day she will see John again.

This is the point at which everything must fall apart. It does, in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when John reenlists and Savannah seemingly runs out of patience before his military service is done. Savannah’s “Dear John’’ letter is cryptic: She’s moving on and marrying someone else. His response is to burn her letters and sign on for more and more dangerous missions, even after he’s seriously wounded. It’s not until years later, when he returns home for a funeral, that there is closure. In the story Dear John,the real antagonist of this story is the army. The army plays a huge part that separates the two and has brought a boat load of problems for the two characters. Also, the themes in this book are what make it turn from base metals to pure gold. It asks whether love is something that relies purely on one’s selfish participation in it or whether there is something more precious. I think every actors and cast member of this movie did a great job of making this story into a movie. I was a well played out movie that showed us all a lot of meaning, love and also showed us certain aspects of what people go threw when they are fighting in are war.









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