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Movie Analysis of the Queen

Autor:   •  June 26, 2016  •  Book/Movie Report  •  1,821 Words (8 Pages)  •  545 Views

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Angela Loh Wan-Yun

Ms Illydea

Mass Communication

7 December 2015

Movie Analysis– The Queen

The Queen, directed by Stephen Frears is a 2006 British drama film, in which the movie is centered on the response of the Royal Family regarding the death of Princess Diana and gives a glimpse into the struggle as Queen Elizabeth (Helen Mirren) tries to balance the family’s need for privacy and the public’s demands for an overt display of mourning.

Media is a powerful tool and has the ability to influence the public’s views and opinions, which leads to an agenda set when it comes to reporting news. Hence, it is necessary to observe and examine the media in order to disclose its true purpose and comprehend its functions. The essay will be discussed under these points of how the media sets an agenda and tells the public what to think about, the cultivation theory present and the two-step flow of communication that influences and shapes perceptions of the public.

Firstly, agenda setting is prevalent in society and although the media is meant to be objective in releasing its news content, it has subtly instilled opinions into the content released due to the demand to be relevant with the public. Agenda setting is defined as “the ability to choose and emphasize certain topics, thereby causing the public to perceive these issues as important” (Dominick 438). Status conferral of the situation or issue happens as the media highlights and raises the issue’s importance over other issues. Framing, under agenda setting, as Iyengar notes is “the subtle selection of certain aspects of an issue by the media to make them more important and thus to emphasize a certain cause of some phenomena” (qtd. in Kwansah-Aidoo 48). This is seen in the movie when the phrase, “People’s princess” from the speech by Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) upon addressing the demise of Diana, was sensationalized as the media picked up on the phrase and incited more grief from the public as the latter was able to relate to the phrase. The press had framed the passing of Diana to be one of a great loss as they prioritized footages and vividly reported about the people’s grief on the streets, along with the deeds that Diana has done and her ‘mistreatment’ by the royals, which encouraged the nation to have an impression of strong discontentment and created the idea that only by national mourning of Diana’s death by the Royal Family is deemed most adequate in resolving the public’s anguish. “The agenda of the news media becomes, to a considerable degree, the agenda of the public” as stated by Maxwell McCombs (16), the agenda set was to hold Diana in adulation and have the royal family to formally address her death. As quoted by Prince Philip in the movie, “Sleeping in the streets and pulling out their hair for someone they never knew. And they think we’re mad!”, shows how deeply affected the public were by the news of Diana’s unfortunate demise, due to the agenda set by the media.


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