Violence and Corruption Analysis: Slumdog Millionaire

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Violence and Corruption – Distinctive Images in the Opening Scene The opening sequence of Slumdog Millionaire creates distinctive images that overwhelm the audience and foregrounds the concept of violence and entrapment. The film confronts the viewer from the first frame where an extreme close up of Jamal’s restrained torso is presented. The camera then pans to again focus on an extreme close up of his frightened face to emphasise the brutality and helplessness of his situation

The juxtaposition of this image with the close up of his torturer creates intensity and positions the audience to empathise with Jamal. The inhumanity of the situation is highlighted by the use of the unnatural yellow of the colour palette which creates a surreal atmosphere and conveys Jamal’s anger and confusion with the violence he is being subjected to.

As the violence escalates with the electric shock treatment, Boyle uses the diegetic sound of the battery to emphasise the depravity of the images. The combination of these confronting images of violence and entrapment challenge the viewer’s perceptions of the world. The responder is forced to question their belief about humanity and the moral boundaries people live within.

By emphasising these issues with extreme close ups, Boyle is reinforcing the intrusive nature of violence and how we must reject such extremes for the good of humanity. The violent corruption of the police in their quest to prove Jamal’s guilt is highlighted by Boyle’s effective use of mise en scene to create an atmosphere of hopelessness and despair that is palpable for the audience. The red and yellow colour imagery dominating the mise-en-scene is combined with the stark images of blood stains on the floor, peeling cement walls and the dirty, sweaty police officer allow the audience to feel the desperation of Jamal as clearly as he does

A close up shot of the Police Inspector’s legs from behind as he enters the police station is used to convey a sense...
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