One Hour Photo: Sy Explains Himself
One Hour Photo (Romanek, 2002) was written and directed by Mark Romanek, in 2002. It is the story of a Seymour “Sy” Parrish, played by Robin Williams who works at a one-hour photo development shop at SavMart. He is a hard worker and does it best to deliver quality product to his customers, some of whom he has grown much attached to, almost to the point of obsession. His favorite customers of all would be the Yorkin Family. They are the husband Will, played by Michael Vartan, his wife Nina, played by Connie Nielsen and their son, Jake, who is played by Dylan Smith. In this paper, I will cover the mise-en-scene of a shot from movieclips.com that has Sy trying to explain his actions in the movie and demonstrating the usage of lighting, costume and dialogue effectively to mute the character, until his final breakdown.
Sy is an extremely lonely middle-aged man who leads a very ordered life. Everything in his meager apartment is clean and put in its place. Nothing about him seems to be out of place really, except he tends to live in his own personal fantasies, instead of reality. His obsession with the Yorkin Family is actually shown when we see his place and his massive collection of copies of their photos. He seems to immerse himself into their life in his own fantasies. Any time he has tried to get closer to the family has failed mostly because he is very awkward and shy making is advances seem odd.
When Sy finally does make a connection with the family it is only by pretending to be interested in a book Nina was looking at in the SavMart. However, their final connection is short lived because the next day he is fired for stealing other people’s photos. This leads Sy to act out and after learning that Nina’s husband, Will, is having an affair thus crushing his fantasy image of the Yorkin Family. This triggers his rage, as he has always wanted to be Will. In Sy’s eyes, here is a man who has it all, a loving...
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