A Critical Analysis Of All Four Cinematic Styles Found In 'requiem For Dream'.

2658 words - 11 pages

In the following analysis of Darren Aronofsky's Requiem For a Dream I will examine how the four elements of cinematic style affect the film's theme and the audiences responses to both the characters and the overall story. The audience remains immersed in the story throughout the film due to Aronofsky's acute attention to detail and finely tuned editing. The audience's senses are heightened by the intense emphasis placed on unusual aspects of specific scenes. The audience is no longer a passive spectator but an active participant, as we are reluctantly absorbed in to the dark world of addiction.Mise en scene, cinematography, sound and especially the editing all play key roles in the development of the story.The sound throughout the film is sharp, and often heightened to an almost unbearable pitch. This takes the audience out of their comfort zone and places them firmly on the edge of their seats. The musical score consists of eerie classical music, which is usually associated with dramatic scenes in horror movies. The score also comprises of a continuous droning sound and buzzing noise from the broken lights, which are uncomfortable to listen to. From the very beginning of the film, the unsettling music seems to be nearing the point of climax, and this injects a looming sense of doom and parallels the character's increasing anxieties.The music relies on a heavy beat, in the rhythm of a heart pulsation, so consequently the audience almost becomes one with the characters. The strange, exotic music that Sara Goldfarb dances to after she takes her first dose of diet pills loses its tune when Sara begins to make coffee. The music sours the atmosphere and becomes disturbing as she embarks on yet another addictive drug, caffeine. The same piece of unsettling music is heard later in film when Sara imagines that her flat has become a television set and various eccentric characters are dancing around her.The film's subjective sound is used as a tool to control the audience's level of awareness, as we are often shocked into attentiveness by certain loud sounds. The sound effects used during the process of heroin consumption and in the drug dealing scenes were particularly effective. The sound of a cash register is heard while money is being put into a pocket. The razor-sharp sound of a sword is heard as the heroin is handed over. (This cleverly corresponds with the picture of a sword on every packet of heroin) The sound of an aeroplane taking off is heard when the three friends smoke dagga. This basically emphasises the concept of 'getting high'. All these unrealistic and amplified sounds in the film contribute to the surreal and dreamlike atmosphere. They also show how drugs can completely disconnect an addict from the real world.When Sara eats the fat-free breakfast, the audience only sees the food disappear as we hear the slurping of the coffee, the cracking of the egg and the swallowing of the grapefruit. This speeds up the eating process, so the...

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