Analysis Of The Methods Used To Make The Opening Battle Sequence Of Saving Private Ryan Shocking And Realistic

2731 words - 11 pages

Analysis of the Methods Used to Make the Opening Battle Sequence of Saving Private Ryan Shocking and Realistic
The Oscar winning wartime epic, Saving Private Ryan, produced by
Steven Spielberg was set in 1998, with an opening half hour sequence
that was shattering in its realism and ruthless in its depiction of
violence. Saving Private Ryan breaks some of the traditional
conventions of the war film genre as hand held cameras operating at
incredibly fast shutter speeds, capture the chaos and confusion dozens
of soldiers undergo whilst battling for their lives and nation at
Omaha Beach, giving the footage a startlingly quality, which is
improved by the use of de-saturated colours, which gave the images an
almost surreal, silver-grey look, which had the effect of making
events that were saddening and disturbing seem more so colourless,
lifeless and cold. This also put the audience not only on the beach
but into the perspective of the men of the American forces on that
day. This film portrays realism as we witness scenes of death the way
it was, actual weaponry used and the setting in Normandy where the war
really did take place. The film is strongly brought together by the
actors of the film; the main character of the film is Captain Miller,
played by Tom Hanks, who plays a very important role in the storyline
of the film, leading his squadron on a mission to find the private
Ryan. The role of Private Ryan is played by Matt Damon, he is a
soldier whose three brothers have died in combat and as such has been
requested by a higher authority to be pulled out from the war and sent
back home to his mother.

The film opens showing an elderly man walking ahead of a group of
people, whom we immediately assume to be his family members. We see
both American and French flags at this scene symbolizing a peace
between the two. The music accompanying this scene is a calm patriotic
melody which would make us, the audience feel calm. We’re then shown
that the man is rushing towards a grave site as we see an establishing
shot of a breath taking number of graves, rows and columns which we
recognise to be the gravesite of those whom had died in a war. The
elderly man reaches a particular grave, at which he falls to his knees
before. The camera at this point is perfectly still from a higher
angle view down upon the man and showing his family several feet
behind him. The camera just at a still portrays a calm mood. Then the
camera focuses on the elderly man’s face and slowly progresses into an
extreme close up onto his eyes. His eyes seem to fill with thought and
possibly memory and the patriotic music seem to rise dramatically. The
transition form pat to present then takes...

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