Theme Of Reality Vs. Fantasy In Sunset Boulevard

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Sunset Boulevard (1950), directed by Billy Wilder, is a black and white film, where Norma Desmond, a famous actress of the silent film era, cannot come to terms with her career’s end. Desmond meets a guy named Joe Gillis, a struggling writer who is in financial trouble. The two come to an agreement that Gillis will polish up her script, which Norma believes will be her ticket back to the big screen, and Norma will take care of Joe financially. The one thing Norma and Joe have in common is that Hollywood has deemed both of them as undesirable. Norma experiences delusions of grandeur, and Joe cannot get his scripts picked up by a studio. A major theme in Sunset Boulevard, is Reality vs Fantasy. One way the theme is portrayed is through its costuming and makeup, such as the clothes Joe and Norma are wearing when they meet, the lavish clothes the night of New Year’s Eve, and the extreme treatments Norma goes through on her face to make herself look younger.…show more content…
She wanted to look young again. Her face look glossy she had bandages over parts of her face, her hair was curled, and she was wearing lipstick. The night gown she was wearing had multiple layers of clothing; it looked extravagant. Once again, she was proving how psychotic she was about being in show business. She still thinks she has the fame, and that she must keep up her appearance. A central theme in Sunset Boulevard, is fantasy vs reality. This is played out in the costuming and makeup. Norma Desmond will not get over herself, and this is proved by the lavish clothing she wears. Joe Gillis wore normal clothes in the beginning of the film, he starts to wear expensive and over the top clothes when he starts living with Norma. He knows his reality, but he likes all the fancy items he gets, so he plays along with Norma, but he does not realize the extent of her delusion, until it is too
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