At the end of a war, you win or you lose. However, the most important thing is what you have done during this war time. Declaration of War  (La GuerreestDéclarée) is an extraordinary and heartfelt French film, which captures the emotions and memories of a young couple who find themselves at the center of war that requires hope and resistance. Although the names are different, this is a very personal and true story for filmmaker Valerie Donzelli, who directs, co-writes and co-stars with Jeremie Elkaim. Declaration of War is a fictionalized version of Donzelli and Elkaim’s real-life battles because their infant son Gabriel fought against cancer threatening their life.
Elkaim and Donzelli play youthful Parisians Romeo andJuliet, meeting in a club, joke about their names since it is an unusual and unexpected coincidence. When they learn eachother’s names, reminding Shakespeare’s famous tragedy Romeo and Juliet, the first thing they say is “we share a terrible fate.”Anything goes out of this world until the birth of their son Adam.Unexpected situations come with Adam and it is apparent that something is wrong with development of Romeo and Juliet’s son. He can’t walk, what is more he frequently vomits. Romeo and Juliet begin to look for why Adam is so different and the search is resulted with the diagnosis of the brain tumour.
Though the movie seems as if tragedy, it separates from known movies because Declaration of War is neither tragedy no rcomedy. Their war includes full of hope and determination so the movie is not exactly a tragedy. The movie’s characters, who cry, laugh, speak and sometimes keep silent, present audiences a dinamic story.The movie does cause mutual effects with opposing forces because some scenes are controversial in the movie. When the young couple is spending the night with their sick son at the hospital and the next, they’re making out with other people and partying. But it’s the tension between binaries that makes the film feel real and amazingly honest. This is what life is – a constant push and pull: tragedy and comedy; love and war; chaos and order; chance and destiny. Eventhough the movie begins with romantic and fabulous scenes, reality becomes a part of their life with their son’s illness. Besides, the movie has an autobiographic side with their son Gabriel. This point also increases the movie’s reality and effectiveness.
Furthermore, the music behind the movie is satisfying. Each time music invokes, it demands to be heard. The weird experimental song in the trailer is LaurieAnderson’s “Superman,” from 1981, and it fits with all one’s hear tone soul. The music makes the film better and the most memorable and affecting scene in the movie, Juliet has just learned about her son’s horrible diagnosis from a doctor. And suddenly, the regular sound of the hospital is replaced by a glitchy, pulsating beat the slowly builds and eventually erupts as Juliet sprints down the florescent lit hospital halls and eventually collapses on the shiny floor. (See 0:45-0:47 in the trailer.)
The movie is told in flashbacks so audiences know that the baby survives which indeed lets audiences experience their war time without the shadow of fear. Declaration of War is a self-referential but not a self-indulgent film, being selected as the French entry for The Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards.
"Declaration of War: The Music behindthe Movie." Review. Web log post. N.p., 31 Jan. 2012. Web. 20 July 2012. <http://sonicsmorgasbord.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/declaration-of-war-the-music-behind-the-movie/>.
Gizem Irmak Yolcu ELIT III

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