Monday, 17 January 2011

Suspense in memento.

There are three scenes in memento which i think create suspense effectively; the opening scene, the phone scene and the scenes where Leonard (the protagonist) has flashbacks of his wife being raped and murdered.

The opening sequence of the movie creates a suspenseful atmosphere right from the beginning of the film through the use of camera, sound, mise en scene and editing. The whole clip is edited to run backwards, which hints that the film will be about something psychological; for example, someone’s memory or thoughts may have been distorted. The mise en scene also creates meaning in the clip; the blood flowing backwards, as well as the Polaroid picture set up a mysterious, slightly creepy tone straight from the beginning, which lets the audience know that a crime has been committed. This combined with the sad, creepy music and camera angles used creates suspense; which is most often connected with psychological thrillers. As for camera work, mostly over-the-shoulder shots are used, which makes the audience feel tense; as though someone is watching them. The pace of the scene is set by the music; it creates a sad and slow, but also suspenseful atmosphere.

The phone scene also effectively creates suspense mainly through the use of music, dialogue and the fact that it is edited to appear in black and white. Every other black and white scene in the movie was used to represent a memory of Leonard's which creates suspense because the audience is never quite sure whether they are seeing a memory or a real life situation.While Leonard is itching the plaster, as if it's bothering him, the audience know that it is an important prop and will soon reveal something, when it is ripped off, the audience is shocked and possibly scared by what has been revealed, as the eerie music increases in volume, and Leonard's dialogue becomes increasingly stressed and scared, the suspense and fear also increase in the audience.

However, the times in the film where i think the most suspense is created is the scene where Leonard has flashbacks of his wife being raped and murdered. Although the audience expects it, as it has been discussed previously in the film, they are shocked and disgusted by how gruesome and detailed the shots of the rape scene are. Editing is used most effectively to create suspense by using a quick series of jump cuts of different parts of the woman's body, and rapid close-ups of the suffocation. suspense is also created in the sense that the audience know that something doesn't fit into this murder scene; there is an unreliable narrator in the form of Leonard as he doesn't quite know what happened himself due to his memory problems, so it is a mystery that the audience must figure out for themselves. This all enhances the suspenseful tone throughout the movie.

No comments:

Post a Comment