strain for effect

(redirected from straining for effect)

strain for effect

To attempt conspicuously and unconvincingly to produce some kind of dramatic or artistic effect, as in a speech, performance, piece of writing, etc. I just felt like she was straining for effect from the beginning of the play right through to the very end. It's so embarrassing reading my old journal entries and seeing how hard I strained for effect back then.
See also: effect, strain

strain for an effect

to work very hard to try to achieve some effect. The actors were straining so hard for an effect that they forgot their lines. Don't strain for effect so much. The authors of this drama knew what they were doing, and it's in the lines already.
See also: effect, strain
References in periodicals archive ?
The trailer shows the director recreating the 1971 period without straining for effect. This is a highly inflammable subject, filled with grandiloquent drama and flamboyant fury.
Nobody agrees with everything Hitchens wrote, not even Hitchens (one of the anti-Christmas essays here is admitted in its successor to be "straining for effect"), but even off-par, he reminds us how diminished our cultural sphere is by his passing.
Debutant director Abhishek Varman knows how to tell a story embedding individual scenes with a distinctive personality without straining for effect. The narrative traverses a number of cities--Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai--searching out enchanting pockets of storytelling for the couple to grow into.
Cash's raw, sometimes haggard voice crackles with honest conviction, whether ribbing husband Johnny in the comic "Temptation" or confronting mortality on "Will You Miss Me?" The spare acoustic settings and plain-spoken lyrics convey powerful, often messy emotions without straining for effect. And don't miss the fiery yet delicate title track, complete with her shimmering autoharp--a perfect summation of June Carter Cash's simple genius.
The Neptunes bring toughness to her wondrous tender vocals on Steal Away and she can do sweeping ballads, 2U, and sunburst pop, Flying Away, without losing her cool or straining for effect. Fearless and wide-ranging, Blige's formidable reputation just got greater.
Kwan and his cameraman, Pun-leung Kwan, have come up with a trendy look, utilizing diffused light, harsh colors and the regrettably fashionable handheld look, thought by some to be more "real" but which instead adds to the artificiality and sense of straining for effect.
In the past, even in the midst of such marvels as On Being Blue, an extended essay on the erotic arts, one could occasionally see him straining for effect. He is now seventy-two, and at the top of his form: gone are the forced-sounding metaphors that sometimes marred his earlier prose, gone the sporadic, ill-managed, and sarcastic lapses into vernacular, the typographical games, the mere misanthropy and bursts of petulance.
This is lovely writing that is crisp and accessible, never talking down to the reader, never straining for effect or image.
Willie's expressive guitar work dominates--quietly--never straining for effect, and he injects a conversational quality into the music.
Meno and Sand are a striking couple on the ice, making even the most daring technical feats look relaxed rather than straining for effects. Meno, twenty-five, is a petite redhead (even before she committed to pairs skating, she recalls, "People always told me I should do pairs because I'm small") with a mercurial presence.
The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, though rife with adjectives and often straining for effects and "art," is an action-packed narrative of Lawrence's campaigns in the desert with the Arabs.