The Departed Jacks Opening Sequence

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Mise en Scene Analysis – The Departed Jacks Opening

The movie starts with a text saying: Boston some years ago. That let us know where we are. The first shot is a fight, the camera is very unstable. That makes it all more chaotic. We get different shots of what’s going on, the police, the bus with a broken window, a black man speaking. I feel like the cameraman takes us around, and we kind of get in the middle of it all. I believe this is a demonstration from the 60’ies for/against the black people or something.

Until now it’s only the diagetic sounds; the fighting, cars, people yelling and so on… There is no special light. The beginning of the clip is like someone just shot it with a random phone camera or something. It’s all normal colours and daylight.

We get to see a panoramic shot over Boston and they zoom in on a certain area. That let us know where the movie’s mainly going on, or at least the next scene. Right before this shot the non-diagetic soundtrack starts. It’s a light and easy-going song, Beatles-ish… This will be in the background during the whole clip.

The next shot, I believe, is from Jacks garage. The camera follows his dark figure when he walks over the floor, as well as it comes closer and closer to him. This makes him to an important character in the movie and we know that it’s his voice we can hear. In this shot, the foreground, in the garage, is very dark, with shadows, and in the background, outside the garage, it’s daylight. I think this is symbolic. Jack has this dark, dangerous, unknown, gangster - way of life. May be he does something illegal that cannot be shown in the light?

They use a point of view shot when Jack is walking towards the café/bar and in. Actually, I don’t know why they use it here. To put us in his shoes? In the café they take a close-up of the chef/baker giving Jack some money. We can also see a close-up of Jack giving the little boy money right after. May be money is one of the themes in the movie....
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