Atonement 5

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The use of production techniques in a film helps the audience understand the ideas. To what extent do you agree with this view? Respond to the question with close reference to one or more films you have studied. In Atonement, directed by Joe Wright, it is very true that production techniques play a key role in helping the audience understand the ideas. Wright focuses on various scenes, such as the fountain, preparation for dinner to make these techniques most effective. The efficiency of these scenes is influenced by camera shots, point of view, crosscutting and sound effects. Wright intended to engage the audience by allowing them to feel a sense of suspense, understand one’s perception and feel connected to the audience. Crucial scenes, like the fountain scene, lay building blocks for future situations that occur. This scene, in part one of the film portrays Robbie Turner and Cecilia Tallis, who grew up together in the idyllic surrounding of the Tallis house in Surrey, arguing over a valuable Tallis vase that had accidentally been broken by Robbie. The dialogue, “move in different circles” implies that although they went up to Cambridge together (there being no mixed colleges at Cambridge until forty years later), they were separated by a much more fundamental divide. Cecilia was of upper class and Robbie was a Tallis household maid. The use of mid shots, wide and close up shots emphasise the mixture of irritation, showing off and contempt underlie Cecilia her undressing to her undergarments and retrieving the piece of Meissen vase that had fallen into the fountain. It is important to note Robbie’s misunderstanding; he wants to help her but does not realise what she is doing mirrors Briony’s behaviour later on in the film, in that the young thirteen year old had subconscious prejudice that Robbie was not a suitable partner for Cecilia and that prison would keep him out of the way. The broken vase is symbolic of the lives that would be destroyed later in the...
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