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Compare And Contrast Heart Of Darkness And Apocalypse Now

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When asked what stands as some of the best movie adaptations of novels, what films come to mind? The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and many other movies certainly come to mind, but there are always those select few that are untouched gems, somewhat left hiding in the dark. Francis Ford Coppola 's Apocalypse Now is a superb film, drawing certain plot points and inspiration from the equally superb novel Heart of Darkness, written by Joseph Conrad. In order to truly feel the masterpieces, however, the movie and novel should be paired together, for the combination allows the reader or viewer to make the connections between the two. Through their works, Conrad and Coppola both respectively employ a mastery of language and film techniques, which…show more content…
The main idea revolving around the use of light and dark is to highlight Kurtz’s influence. In the very final scene of the film, the viewer sees Willard exit the temple after killing Kurtz and come face to face with all of the natives previously under Kurtz’s influence. Immediately during this scene, the camera zooms in to get a close-up of Willard 's upper body. On one half of his body, the part facing towards the temple is in complete pitch black, whereas the opposite side is illuminated by a faint light. Here, the traditional take on light and dark is maintained, with light equalling good and dark bad. By the positioning of the light, it is emphasized how Willard is torn; a part of him is influenced by Kurtz and wants to carry on his work, whereas the normal Willard is facing away, emphasizing the need to escape. To help strengthen the aspect of Kurtz’s influence, it can be observed for most of the scenes how Kurtz is constantly clad in dark. For most of the time, his face is not visible to the viewer. The purpose of this is to show how Kurtz’s voice is the influencer, and the main cause for Willards fixation. In both Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now, Marlow and Willard were mesmerized by his voice. Coppola’s use of light and dark highlights how Kurtz’s voice caused Willard to become mentally torn. It further promotes the idea that in a time of extreme stress, the power of words can make sense, regardless of the