In the TV Series White Collar, the character of Neal Caffrey – portrayed by Matt Bomer – is deceptive, cheeky and charming. He is Con-artist, thief and convicted felon who, after being sentenced to jail, has made a deal with the FBI to be released as a consultant in the white collar crime division.
Being a con-artist, Neal has developed an uncanny skill to mask his emotions and body language so as to convey a desirable body image. He trained himself to do so because he was always moving around as a child and so he was never able to develop any long lasting relationships. Eventually he decided not to care about anyone enough that it would hurt if he had to move. Because of this, Neal is never fully open to anyone – not even Peter, the FBI agent he has been assigned to, or Mozzie, his best friend.
The two scenes – from season 5 – that I am comparing show Neal in contrasting emotional states due to lack of power or control over a situation. The context of the first scene (episode 4 – 20:20 to 23:30) is Neal attending a meeting with a criminal psychiatrist. He has been sent undercover to see what the elusive psychiatrist has planned. The meeting does, however, become unpleasant for Neal as he is confronted by the psychiatrist about his devious ways and deeply embedded emotions. Slowly and gradually he begins to lose his cool, fidgeting in his seat and stammering excessively. The most readily recognisable change in Neal’s state is his posture. At the beginning of the interview he is in a comfortable position, slightly leaning forward away from the chair as if he were in control of the conversation. As he is confronted his posture begins to ‘lose face’ as he slouches into the chair oblivious to the fact he has even changed the position of his body. The conviction that is conveyed in this display of body language indicates the focus and concentration that Matt Bomer has applied to add realism to the plot and confirms that he is in the...
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