Philadelphia Analysis Of Conflict And Unity Established Through Film Techniques

885 words - 4 pages

The movie Philadelphia is mainly focused on one man, Andrew Beckett, against the discrimination he faces by the giant law firm he worked for. Andrew is aided in his battle by another man, Joe Miller. The director Jonathan Demm characterises both men to establish conflict and then unity. This is established through the use of various camera techniques, through the use of dialogue and also through the storyline by exemplifying their similarities and differences.Following the opening credit sequence of the city, we are immediately introduced to both the main characters, Andrew Beckett and Joe Miller. Both are introduced as lawyers and it is also evident that they are arguing against each other. This establishes a sense of difference and opposition. This impression is enhanced by the racial difference between the two, Joe being black and Andrew being white. At first both are shown in close ups, shown separately, however the camera shifts to a two shot which is used to show them in the same frame, sitting together. This is significant as it foreshadows their original conflict and eventual unity. After this confrontation both Andrew and Joe are shown in the elevator, behaving similarly, talking on their phones. Demm characterises both men so that even though a sense of conflict and opposition is established in the film, this scene demonstrates their similarities. This is used to establish a slight sense of unity; however it is mainly used to foreshadow their eventual unanimity.Throughout the movie their similarities as well as differences have been accentuated to establish a sense of conflict and unity. Another example of their differences is towards the end of the film, when Andrew and Joe both attend a fancy dress party with their partners. This is the only time both couples are shown together and is especially significant when they are dancing. Andrew and his partner Miguel, are shown dancing together very closely, however the camera then shifts to Joe and his wife. This highlights their difference in sexual orientation and again establishes an ongoing sense of conflict, even though they have become quite close at this point. Another important scene which displays their similarities is in the library. Both men are there and the scene is used to parallel them, as a library is connotation for learning. This similarity is used to establish unity and is further supported when Joe sit with Andrew to look over his notes. At first Joe leaves and then we physically see him torn between his personal opinion and justice. This again represents their conflict which is...

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