Ocean's Eleven Film Analysis Of The First Scene (Covering Mise En Scene, Cinematography, Sound, Editing, And Critical Reception)

1844 words - 7 pages

The blockbuster film Ocean's Eleven, released in 2001, was the first film of a trilogy of heist films directed by Steven Soderbergh. This big budget crime-thriller remake of the 1960's Rat Pack favourite conveys the intricately thrilling plot where Daniel Ocean leads a rag-tag group of con artists and ex-cons for the monumental heist of 3 major Las Vegas Casinos.This sequence is significant because it sets up the diegesis of the film and also gives us an insight into the character of the protagonist. Also, structurally, the set up of the heist is crucial to setting up the audience's high expectations and apprehensions of how something of this scale can be achieved smoothly. Daniel Ocean, played by A-list star George Clooney, is being interviewed by the parole board at a small New Jersey State prison. Immediately after being released, Ocean heads straight for Atlantic City and then Las Vegas to begin recruiting old acquaintances for his grandest heist yet. The genre feature of assembling the heist team members, each with a specific skill, is an extremely important one as it functions to make the audience anticipate what role each will play and how, exactly, their skills will come into play later. Through this sequence, it is made clear to us that Daniel Ocean is a leader and a natural, experienced criminal whose goals and ambitions are not affected by prison.To put this film and its heist theme into context, we must take into consideration the significance of using a casino in Las Vegas as the target of the heist. Las Vegas, also known as sin city, is the entertainment and gambling capital of the world, where fortunes are made and lost. Las Vegas connotes certain values and attitudes. Heist genre films have to make the thieves charismatic and almost heroic, therefore, the object or institution being robbed must be seen as evil in some personal or social way. A casino in Las Vegas is a symbol of mass corporate greed, capitalism on a lurid scale, and a place where the odds are stacked in the casino's favour. The stakes are so high when it comes to robbing a casino that, Daniel Ocean and his 10 associates are not only gambling their chances of going to prison, they are gambling with their lives. We know that this is the case with this film because we can see Daniel Ocean unthreatened and unaffected by prison life.MISE EN SCENEDuring the interview in the prison, The Mise en scene lends meaning to the fact that it isn't a nice place to be, where conformity reigns, and individuality is quashed. The dark mise en scene, with the walls painted grey, as a prison is, creates an institutionalized atmosphere. The empty benches behind the character indicate the character's loneliness in prison. There is also a barred window in the background, representing the outside world and something that can be seen but not experienced as well as the fan that isn't on, further emphasising the lifeless atmosphere of the prison.Figure placement is effectively thought out to...

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