Essay 2- Analyse how the opening of the text was crafted for a particular purpose
Hopelessness and despair are significant themes crafted in the opening scenes of Frank Darabont’s ‘The Shawshank Redemption’. The themes of hopelessness and despair are prevalent throughout the start of the film through the use of film techniques, which include but are not limited to diegetic sound, sound effects, lighting and camera shots.
Frank Darabont is the director behind his spectacle, which is on the Stephen King novella ‘Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption.” Throughout the film, Darabont can showcase the feeling of utter hopelessness which turns into hope
The opening scene of the film is crafted purposely with Darabont’s innovative film techniques which introduce the key theme and human conditions of hopelessness and despair. The opening scenes into the prison are shot on an overcast and dreary day resulting in the person appearing bleak and grey, which produces a feeling of hopelessness and despair. The lighting is dark and gloomy, producing the unpleasant and shadowy setting which symbolises the evil society and the absence of both light and God within the prison. Darabont cleverly uses the film technique of lighting purposely craft the theme of despair and hopelessness.
The opening of the film is purposely crafted to portray the ideas of hopelessness and despair by using camera angles in the opening scenes. The birds-eye view shot, panning the grounds of Shawshank Prison how the dark, gothic, and the evil feel that illustrated the human condition of hopelessness and despair that is prevalent throughout the start of the film.
Another camera angle purposely used to portray the theme of hopelessness vs despair is the low angled shot. As Andy Dufresne( one of the main characters who is in prison for ‘killing his wife, and his wife’s lover) first entered the building. The shot is a point of view shot which mimicked what the character of And, as he looks from a low angle panning up the wall of the tall, gothic, and mossy building to highlight the theme of despair and hopelessness the prisoners including Andy feels. Darabont crafted this shot to make the prisoners look small and helpless as they enter the prison.
Another scene that illustrates the essential themes of despair cleverly; is the beating of ‘Fatass’ (Who’s beaten to death as a new inmate to Shawshank( the same time as Andy), and was dehumanised by never given a proper name). Crafted with many film techniques that include but aren’t limited to; lighting, dejected sound, camera shots to demonstrate essential themes such as hopelessness and despair in ‘fatass’s beating scene’.
The scene of ‘Fatasses’ beating is constructed creatively with many different film techniques that include but aren’t limited to; lighting, dejected sound, camera shots to demonstrate essential themes such as hopelessness and despair. The scene illustrated through a set of silhouetted camera shots accending from a dark, dimly lit corridor in front of the prison cells produces a dark shadowy atmosphere; demonstrating the lack of hope the prisoners have. Both the lighting and camera shot to illustrate the hopelessness and violence which the inmates face.
The film techniques of diegetic sound also intertwined with the camera and lighting techniques. The scene where Hadley( second-in-command of prison, and captain of a prison guard) beat up ‘Fatass’. Darabont used exaggerated sound effects to demonstrate the harshness of Shawshank prison, as there are endless loops of violence which highlight the ideas of hopelessness and despair.
The opening scene demonstrates the theme of hopelessness and despair throughout Shawshank Redemption that has many significant links to the outside world. The world is full of millions of individuals’ who deal with the human condition of hopelessness and despair. The statement’ human condition’ is a term to highlight the feelings that every human face. Andy is an innocent and successful banker who experiences despair when wrongly accused of murdering his wife and his wife’s lover.
The opening of the text creatively constructed to reinforce the key themes of despair and hopelessness through the use of film techniques that include but are not limited to lighting, sound effects, and diegetic sound. Through these techniques, Darabont can illustrate the human condition and the central theme of hopelessness and despair.