The film The Aviator portrays an insight into the life of Howard Hughes. We get a perspective that the public didn’t see in Howard Hughes. Martin Scorsese directed the film and depicts Howard Hughes life both through what Howard says but also what is not said. Music and lighting show what Hughes is thinking even if he isn’t saying it. In the scene where the airplane Hercules is being built, music and lighting play a key role in the scene. Hughes doesn’t even have to say anything for the viewer to feel as though the viewer too have Obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The scene opens with a bird’s eye view shot that hones in on Howard Hughes walking at a very fast pace through an airplane hangar. The melody being played while he is walking is very upbeat and chaotic sounding which perfectly coincides with Howard’s mental mindset. It is a very high paced and high pitched flute that is playing very loudly. His thoughts are competing with one another and the music is so fast it makes the viewers mind race which is an insight into Howard’s mind.
Howard is then in the airplane Hercules that is being constructed and the music becomes calm and there is natural looking light and no sparks. I believe this gives the viewer the insight that Hughes is currently in his peaceful atmosphere and his feelings are not all over the place. Throughout the entire scene there are loud saws that sound as if they’re cutting through steel. The only time you don’t hear any saws is when Howard is in the airplane. The sound made from the saws pierces your ears and causes the viewer to cringe and make you feel somewhat insane. Again, I believe this shows Hughes psychologically is not right and you get a mental insight by experiencing it as well.
When Howard is back on the ground however the music begins racing again. It is the same high paced and very high pitched flute that is once again playing very loudly. The sparks re-appear along with the loud saws cutting through steel. This again shows the hectic state of mind Hughes was in. It also perfectly portrays his difference with his comfort in airplanes versus his discomfort on the ground. Howard’s calm place is in airplanes. It’s as if he belongs in the sky and not on the ground. His attacks and mental mindset is far more severe on the ground then when he is in the air or in this case the airplane in the hangar.
Then there is a sudden change in the mood of the scene. The music is very slow which perfectly matches Hughes thoughts because he is honed in on one thought rather than racing all around. He is focused on a single old man sweeping rather than having his thoughts all over the place. Instead of being calm or upbeat, the music turns ominous and according to Martin Scorsese in The Aviator with commentary, the old man sweeping is Howard at an old age. He’s sweeping all the dust on the floor. According to Scorsese, Hughes believes people are talking about him and he cannot hear them because he is deaf and...