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Analysis of Thriller Opening Sequence - Casino Royale

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Miranda Leslie

on 14 September 2012

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Transcript of Analysis of Thriller Opening Sequence - Casino Royale

Wowing template. Click through in 20 steps. But we can move beyond the present.
Why? Here is something small... Here is some context. Provide some common ground.
Or something from the present, that we should look beyond. An Example: 30 So... Where is it set? How do you know? The opening sequence starts with an exterior establishing shot of an office block and text appears telling us the film is set in Prague. Soon we are inside the building with a full camera shot showing the desk, chairs and single source of light from a lamp. This shot shows a large, shadowy space which is a convention of a thriller film as when a character is alone there is the most risk of danger. How is the genre established-what conventions are present? Discuss mise en scene, sound, editing, camera. The film begins with chilling music that repeats throughout the opening which features two characters who speak in low husky voices. This adds to the tension. The opening scene includes all the elements of a thrilling action film that the audience would expect to see including: guns, blood and violence. When showing the fight scene the music increases in pace, volume and tempo showing there is a lot of action happening. The non diagetic sound of high pitched violins indicates a threatening situation while later the diagetic sound of punches as the characters exchange blows is another code of the genre. It emphasises the reality of the violence to the audience. The opening sequence finishes with the ominous sound of a click of a gun, an action code which keeps the audience watching. The whole of the opening sequence is in black and white suggesting it is a very tense and dramatic scene. There is also use of flashbacks and quick editing cuts between the current action and the past.
Camera shots include many close ups of the two main characters to show their emotions, or lack of them in this case. There are also low angle shots emphasising the violence of Bond and high angle shots showing us the full scale of the battle in the bathroom. How are the main characters introduced? Bond Whenever the camera is on Bond his face is never in the centre of the frame, or the angle is not straight on, suggesting that there are many sides to his character. Also whenever his face is shown it is lit from the side so that one side of his face is in shadow which gives a sinister look. Bond appears in the left of the frame, his opponent on the right which suggests they are in conflict. Also Bond’s face is never more than a close up camera shot, implying he is very secretive and mysterious. His voice is always calm, he looks the man straight in the face. Even when threatened by a gun the expression on Bond’s face shows no fear. He doesn’t blink, he is always on the alert.
When drowning the man in the sink Bond shows no remorse or moral responsibility. He looks down at the dead body.
At the end of the flashback fight scene when Bond’s back is turned to his opponent he still senses danger and turns and shoots. We then take the place of the victim, emphasising Bond’s power to the audience. His Opponent His opponent is first introduced outside an office block, low angle camera shots shows him taking the lift, follows him walking along the corridor and as he enters a shadowy large office. All is filmed in black and white, adding to the sinister atmosphere. He is smartly dressed with a threatening air, taking his gloves off as he opens the drawer which conceals his gun. We, the audience see him do this, Bond does not, or so we think. How is the narrative introduced? Discuss mise en scene, camera shots, angles, movement, sound. The first establishing shot of offices features low key lighting which indicates it could be linked to the villain. Text appears on screen to tell us we are in Prague. When he finally enters his office we hear Bond’s voice interrupt the silence. The narrative is introduced using flashback techniques. We hear Bond and the mystery man discussing how someone died and then flashback to Bond killing a man in a bathroom. A bird’s eye shot shows them battling it out in the bathroom and the images are deliberately blurry. There is also increased contrast between black and white in the flashback scenes. Also the camera angles frequently shift to a low angle to show Bond’s domination and power. There is a close up on his victim as he is drowned in the wash basin and also on Bond’s face showing his determination to kill this man. When the man falls to the floor we hear the sound of water gushing over him and also hear Bond’s heavy breathing after the exertion of the fight. Both are diagetic sounds. The final scene of the opening sequence reverts back to the flashback and the victim seems to have recovered and is about to shoot Bond. What clues do we get about the film from the opening sequence? The codes indicate that this will be an action film, we see plenty of shots of guns, overhead single sources of light, fighting and violence. The music is dramatic and high pitched and builds suspense in the audience. The close up of the gun in the drawer establishes the action genre in the opening sequence although there are plenty of graphics of guns and use of the colour red in the detailed opening credit sequence. This sequence also features symbols from cards, fight scenes and victims that prepare us for what is to come. The movie seems a combination of action, thriller and adventure crossing several genres. What questions are raised in the sequence, that will keep an audience watching? We follow the steps of an unknown man into the offices and wonder who he is and where he is going. There is little dialogue between the characters and they do not give away much information. As we follow the steps of the man to the dark and impersonal office we wonder who he is and what his job is. Also why does Bond kill the other guy in the bathroom? Does the man who looks like he has been drowned come back to life? The audience wants to continue to watch to find out if Bond triumphs. The fact that we have so little information adds mystery to the opening of the film and makes us want to keep watching. The screen fills with the colour red again and a shot of Bond framed within the lens of a camera, pointing a gun directly at us. The music builds. Again all this hooks us in and reinforces the enigma and action codes already established in the opening sequence.
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