Brian De Palma’s 1983 Universal picture ’Scarface’ embodies many features common to the formula of gangster action genre. In particular elements of textual analysis have been used to effect the meaning of the experience for the audience. This will be explored through a critical analysis of the mise-en-scene and camera techniques within the text.
Scarface follows the life of Tony Montana and his close friend Manny Ray from their trip on the Cuban Boat Lift for refugees, to their arrival in Miami. After killing a powerful Cuban figure, Montana and company gain the ability to leave their refugee camps and roam around the U.S. After unsuccessfully trying to make it legitimately in the country, Montana and Ray resort to selling cocaine to dealers around the world. Tony's rise is quick, but as he becomes more powerful, his enemies and his own paranoia begin to plague his empire.
Up to the point of the final scene, Tony Montana (Al Pacino) is in a position of authority, but it is also apparent to viewers that his world is falling apart around him. This shows that even though he has much power and money throughout the film, this doesn’t always necessarily provide happiness. The power and reputation Tony carries is represented in this scene by stereotypical props around him. Most notably a large amount of cocaine piled on his table. He is also sitting in a chair of stereotypical power which directly faces the entrance to the room. All these props emphasise Tony as a figure of power. Other props that emphasise Tony’s power are the red carpets, and gold plated stairs. Red carpets are considered a symbol of royalty for special or famous people, for example, they are used at premieres. This shows that Tony is a special character who sees himself in a position of royalty.
Gold plated stairs and chairs, also indicate that he is considered to be a powerful man. He is surrounded by guns, missiles and other forms of weapons that produce pyrotechnics. All these dangerous...
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