Sound in cinema is used to trigger emotion or heighten the awareness to a particular theme from the audience.  Non-diegetic sound is defined as sound coming from a source outside the space of the film. Non-diegetic sound can be sound effects added for a dramatic effect, mood music and narration.  Joachim Trier’s 2006 film Reprise uses all three aspects of non-diegetic sound to cue audiences to the underlying psychological realism of Phillip’s character that drives the film.

Looking at the scene at the pier where Phillip reflects on his relationship with his friends begins with the boys walking down to the pier.  The audience hears what appears to be the diegetic sound of waves crashing on the shore.  The audience is somewhat uncomfortable while watching the scene because why the sound seems to be natural and of the world of the film, these is something unsettling about how loud the waves crashing is in relation to the lack of other natural sounds (i.e. the sound of the boys walking or birds chirping). The effect of muting all other sound in the scene is a reverse tactic of sound effects added for dramatic effect. The overwhelming sound of waves crashing on the shore continues to transforms from diegetic to non-diegetic sound as the camera focuses on a medium-close up shot of Phillip staring off in a daze.  Phillip then runs over to Geir and tackles him into the bay. The eerie sound of the waves crashing dominates the scene. There is no sound of the boys falling into the water despite the splash seen on the screen.  The scene then cuts back to the medium-close up of Phillip as if he never pushed Geir into the water.  The audience realizes that Phillip imagined the event as the film cuts back and forth between the imagined event of tackling Geir into the bay and the reality of Phillip day-dreaming.   The sound of waves crashing continues as the film cuts to a new scene of the boys in Phillip’s apartment.  By suturing the scenes together with the non-diegetic sound of the waves crashing cues the audience to realize that the new scene is in Phillips memory much like the idea of pushing Geir into the bay.  The sound of the waves continues in an asynchronous manner as the film shows a short montage of shots: Phillip passing out beers, Geir looking at a book, Phillip back at the pier, and Phillip putting on a record.  It is the music of the record that disrupts the restless sound of waves crashing.  The audience hears the raw sound of the record spinning round and round.  As the music begins to play, the audience hears the description of the boys’ lives via the re-occurring third-person narrator, who is a detached stance vis-à-vis the plot and characters by describing events from outside the story.  The narrator proceeds to tell the audience a sequence of events: the boy’ friendship and relationship with one another, the relationship of Erik and Lillian, the story of how Phillip met Kari, and the special connection between Erik and Phillip.  The audience almost forgets that the new scene was sutured to the previous scene via the eerie sound of the waves crashing of the shore. To ensure the audience does not forget, the scene ends by cutting back to the same medium-close up shot of Phillip dazing off into nothingness and the sound of waves.

The film Reprise creates the feeling that Phillip and Erik are merely the characters in novels that they revere so much.  A reader has the ability to understand a characters psychological state. Trier attempts to create a similar effect by utilizing every aspect of non-diegetic sound.  The effect cues audiences to the underlying psychological realism of Phillip’s character.

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