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Narrative And Genre In I Robot

1752 words - 7 pages

Narrative and Genre in I Robot

The film ‘I Robot’ is a classic conventional sci-fi film. From the
outset the audience establishes that this is of the science fiction
genre due to the synthetic bubbles, vibrant colours, short snippets of
wires and menacing orchestral music. The film shapes the particular
expectations of the sci-fi genre by summoning up curiosity and
suspense.

The first character the audience sees is Will Smith. From this the
audience can establish that he is the lead and central character. In
addition, from his previous work, Will Smith is associated with sci-fi
and action genres, such as Independence Day, Men in Black I and II and
Bad Boys.

Levi-Srauss’ concepts and ideas of binary opposites are noticeable
throughout. The initial shots see Will Smith’s character, Del Spooner,
at home, surrounded by old furniture and old appliances, for example
the alarm clock, the ceiling fan and his music player. The fact that
he surrounds himself with this type of stuff would suggest that he is
clinging to the past. It then changes to the outside world, the non
diegetic music suddenly stops and the audience is confronted with a
robot, which is shocking.

The high shot from the ceiling fan reflects the chaos and shows the
mess of his room, when the future is generically seen as perfect and
simplistic.

The song by Stevie Wonder, a black iconic figure, is heard singing the
song Superstition, which reflects Spooner’s attitude towards the
robots perfectly.

The Converse shoes, vintage 2004, demonstrate that Del Spooner is
clinging onto the past and the robots demonstrate the advanced
futuristic side. In addition, the way in which Del Spooner interacts
in his household clearly defines these binary opposites and sets the
tone and narrative of the film. Instead of relying on technology in
his house, he prefers to be in control. This is the purpose of the
shower scene as firstly it shows that he is not using any technology
to turn it on and off. Secondly, the nudity shows the beauty of the
human frame and how advanced it is, much like the robots. This
comparison with the human frame and robots is clear in other sci-fi
action films such as The Terminator.

The intertextuality with the advert for the NS5 Robots demonstrates
the disruption the Robots cause, due to it juxtaposing the scene, and
the mass impact that Robots have on the lives of the people who live
in Chicago, as they are unable to avoid them.

The apple pie represents family ideals and traditions. It is homemade
and not synthetic, again showing Spooner’s non-conformist side.

Spooner’s disrespect of the robots presents the audience with a common
enemy for our hero. This is supported by the music abruptly stopping
as Spooner leaves the house. Also later, a robot gets him into trouble
with his chief...

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