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Mildred Pierce - Movie Review

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Q. To analyze The Narrative Structure of the film “Mildred Pierce”.

Georgie. Eli. Fisher

Introduction: What am I going to do.

The following paper will be an analysis of the narrative structure of the film ‘Mildred Pierce’. Mildred Pierce is a 1945 American Film Noir, directed by Michael Curtis, Staring Joan Crawford, Zachary Scott, and Jack Carson. I am going to analyze the narrative structure of the film Mildred Pierce.

I will be providing an analysis of the way the film unfolds including the way the structure of the film is laid out. I will offer my interpretation of the film as I will also offer my opinion of the film. Offering my interpretation of the film, identifying if the film can be understood by the viewer.

The film introduces the viewer to the plot of the film in the opening sequence from there re-tells the story in the form of a flashback going right back telling the story from start to finish.

The film ends with the revealing of the murderer in the final scene tying the film up together.

I am going to give my analysis of the narrative structure of the film, looking at what the film offers the viewer in terms of the Narrative Structure.

My Argument: To Analyze the Narrative Structure of Mildred Pierce.

Mildred Pierce is a film detailing the life of a woman by the name of Mildred Pierce.

She is both strong and independent in all her endeavors. She strives to provide a good life for herself and her two children, wanting to give them everything she never had whilst growing up.  

I enjoyed the film primarily as the protagonist is a woman, who is strong, smart, and independent. Mildred (the protagonist) clearly wants nothing more than to have her eldest daughter Veda’s affection.

The film Mildred Pierce is primarily a film about her eldest Daughter Veda, who is spoilt endlessly in the Vain hope of gaining her affection.

Veda wants everything Mildred is able to provide for her ending up costing Veda her freedom when Veda carelessly shoots Mildred’s New Husband Monte’ through jealousy.

Greed is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, we must not engage with it.

The film ‘Mildred Pierce’ Introduces us to the Protagonist Mildred Pierce, appearing slightly weary some. The spotlight is being shone here on Mildred Pierce as she is being introduced.

I see a troubled woman having a breakdown concerned about her future.

There appears to be a darkness surrounding her as she is clearly troubled by something.

Suddenly the body of Mildred’s second husband Monte is discovered, having been shot.  

The police start an investigation interrogating Mildred telling her they believe the murderer to be her first husband Bert.

Mildred is in disbelief proclaiming Bert is far too gentle and kind to commit such a crime.

In the opening scene Mildred is dressed wearing a fur coat.

The Costume is an important part of the Narrative Structure as the dress code tells me Mildred Pierce is Wealthy enough to be able to afford to own her own Fur coat.

The Narrative Structure of the film is attempting to frame Mildred Pierce for the Crime of Monte’s Death, by placing her directly at the scene.

The film then goes into a flashback to the start of Mildred’s new life where she is being told by her husband he is leaving her. The turning point in Mildred’s life, she is being abandoned by her husband and having to start her life all over again. Her costume is of modest house wife attire different to the opening scene where she is wearing the Fur Coat. The turning point in her life where she decides to support herself and her children by getting a job working as a waitress in a restaurant. We are introduced to her two daughters Kaye the youngest, and Veda the eldest, evidently Mildred adores them both.

The film is incredibly clever in the way it, gives very detailed information on the character of Mildred and her life.  

From there onwards we see her career progression is fast as she later owns three restaurants, becoming a successful independent business woman. I see nothing but good things from Mildred, she is a hard-working strong woman who adores her two children.

Unfortunately, her youngest daughter dies of pneumonia while on a weekend trip away with her dad ‘Bert’ and sister ‘Veda’. The death of Kaye is a poignant part in the film as there is little focus on Kays death. The film swiftly moves on with Mildred and Vedas life.  

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