Saturday, 8 January 2011

Suspense: Collateral

What makes it suspenseful?

A lot of effects produced by the camera makes this scene very suspenseful. At the very beginning of this scene the camera lens blurs out everyone except the characters the editor wants us to pay attention to, this builds tension as us as an audience wonder why exactly we have our attention drawn to these two people, why are they important, and what exactly is going to happen. The use of diegetic sounds help us relate to the characters and their environment, almost like an establishing shot the diegetic sounds set the scene. Hearing the footsteps of others walking around, murmur of speech of the surrounding peoples conversation, this places the audience into their comfort zones and gives them a sense of security. As the scene proceeds, the fast pace editing when the two male characters us as the audience have been watching bump into each other, this intensifies to mood, and makes the bump more sudden which leads the viewers to a more suspenseful happening, and amplify the state of shock to come.

Suspense is also created when the characters collide into each other, they have a perfectly normal conversation, however this also builds up tension for us as the audience as we have been watching these two characters stand out from all the rest of the people, it is strange that they have a very normal conversation as you would be expecting them to pass through some secrets or information so this adds to the suspension. As the bags are swapped, the suspension intensifies and we are interested in what was in the briefcases and why were they swapped, as one of  the males walk away, he puts an envelope in his jacket, this also makes the audience wonder what is in that envelope. Another point I noticed when watching this clip, the last part of the dialogue was “Enjoy LA.” This makes the audience wonder as to why this man knows where the other man is traveling to if they do not know each other and just happened to bump into each other, this also adds to the gradually building suspension. The airport setting was very smart, as it suggests that we are in good hands, safe and secure. We as the audience had began to get comfortable feeling very safe, as the airport has tight security, nothing should happen, but the sense of security is false, and we realize this as the film continues.

What makes it suspenseful?

This scene has been created to be very suspenseful, the lighting in the set first of all. The scene was set in a dark alleyway, this connotes dark happenings, scary thoughts, dangerous events, this also builds up tension in the audience, as they are excited and intrigued about the events to come in the scene. As Max is trying to get attention, we as the audience are clenching onto our seats, as if we want to help him, we sympathize him , when people come towards him, we are to believe he is safe, he is saved, us as the audience have a sense of relief. Until we are in shock within a couple of seconds, not expecting the men to pull out, a gun, and pin point it to Max’s head, threatening to kill him. Our tension within the audience accelerates completely which builds a very suspenseful atmosphere throughout the whole scene.

What makes it suspenseful?

Suspense is created when Max and Vincent are having a shoot off in the dark, at this point we do not know who has been shot, we hear many gun shots, which also adds to the suspense,  until we find out who is shot, we have a great amount of anxiety built in the audience. We as the viewers also can relate to both characters as like the characters we do not know who is shot. When both characters run out of ammo, this point we as the audience have more sympathy for Max, as we know Vincent has had special training in armed combat. The tension is broken once we discover the blood stain on his chest, he slowly sits himself down in shock, and the audience’s sympathy in now directed at Vincent. This is a very intelligent way of ending the action as it was not what the audience expected.


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