How far does the cinematography, narrative and representations of characters meet the expectations of a contemporary audience?
Over a period of time, specific audiences construct expectations of different types of media, related to either what they have been told, or perhaps what the media have exposed them to in the past. Indeed, it could be argued that the success of a film to a large degree, rests on whether or not such expectations are met, surpassed, else the audience successfully surprised. Certainly, such expectations have to be addressed by the film, if it is to be considered satisfying for the audience, and in this way, elements within the film, such as character representations, the narrative and cinematography are all important components which allow this to be achieved. Additionally, the social and political context in which the film is being viewed must be considered, as it is against this background that their expectations will have been formed.
Most often, it is the genre of a film that initially attracts the audience. Genre classifies all types of media into identifiable categories, according to their shared elements and with the categorisation of its genre, comes certain expectations. Casino Royale presents the audience with an action, adventure and thriller and therefore crosses the boundaries of several genres. By knowing the genre of Casino Royale, the public can assume to what extent they may enjoy the film. Casino Royale appears to be aimed at both males and females as it includes various elements of action and romance. It is also clear that the film would be specifically for teenagers upwards as there are phases in the film which would be difficult for anyone younger to appreciate.
The narrative within Casino Royale centres around the theme of terrorism, and a contemporary audience would most certainly expect this to be addressed. At the time of its release, there was great public awareness and fear, following the infamous attacks on the World Trade Centre and twin towers in New York in 2001 and more recently the 7/11 bombings in London in 2005. Such attacks, believed to be as direct results of the foreign policies of both Great Britain and the USA, resulted in unprecedented implications within the media.
Casino Royale follows a linear narrative and is portrayed in a naturalistic style, although there are flashback scenes at the beginning of the film. Todorov produced a structure which implies that all films have an equilibrium, disruption, recognition of disruption, attempt to repair disruption and reinstatement of equilibrium. Although Casino Royale has significant elements of this narrative structure it only fits to a certain extent as there are sections within the film which do not correspond to this structure. For example, the use of flash backs at the beginning of the film when Bond is enduring his first kill and achieves double 0 status and the unexpected twist at the end of the film. The use of these unforeseen elements within the film, contributes to a more charismatic film to watch, undeniably confusing them with the twists within the narrative, but also providing the target audience with the exuberance which they expect from a film of this genre.
The perspective given to the audience viewing Casino Royale is also what they would expect for this genre of film, as they generally adopt the ‘privileged spectator position’, where they can see everything that happens within the film, even when the characters cannot. There are areas within the film, however, where this is not apparent and the audience is then viewing from ‘a point of view experience’. For example, when Bond is being tortured near the end of the film, we hear screams of Vesper in the other room, yet are not allowed to see what is happening to her. This causes suspense and anticipation for the audience, a technique which Martin Campbell, the director is known for.
The story of Casino Royale is portrayed...
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