Gallipoli: The Desctructive Nature of War

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In Gallipoli, the final running sequence mirrors the opening sequence in order to draw the viewer’s attention to the destructive nature of war. This is emphasised by the film concluding with a freeze frame of Archy being mowed down by gunfire. The use of a medium shot assist in emphasising his movements and facial expressions as he runs (5). This in conjunction with the repetition of the whistle sound that indicates the start of Archy running, along with the mere sound of heavy breathing, reveals the similarity in the opening running scene and the final sequence of the film. In the opening sequence, Archy’s running was seen to be an act of freedom, which is created through the smile on his face and the warm lighting created by the sunrise. However in the final scene, the drawn out sombre orchestral music and abundance of crosscutting between shots, assists in creating suspense. Loud diegetic sounds of yelling and devastating war sound effects, build up to the final sequence which inturn created a sense of fear (6). The disparity between the two scenes is how Archy finishes the run both times. The first time he is seen running he wins the race, and the journey the viewer takes with him as the protagonist begins. However the second time he runs he is shot and the screen fades to black and the film concludes. As the viewer expects the protagonist to live, as they do in most films, their ideologies are challenged and they are left with the harsh reality of the destructive nature of war, with no exceptions. Through the final sequence, along with its ties to the opening sequence, the destructive nature of war as a key demonstration throughout the film, is evident. Peter Weir uses violence to emphasise the destructive nature of war as w... ... middle of paper ... ... his side, which makes them feel like they are doing the right thing (1). Explosions are also seen to differentiate Kotcheff’s cinematic style with Weir’s as they are used continuously throughout the film. Julian Murphet explains that in film, “the suspension of disbelief” (2, p. 48) occurs, for example, as they witness an explosion. The viewer enjoys this suspended disbelief for long enough that they feel like they are experiencing a thrill, yet they are free of the suffering of the thrill. They are comforted by this idea, and therefore these explosions become somewhat spectacular. As Monaco (2009) explains, it is only the viewers’ perceptions that are experiencing these moments, yet they are so powerful. The audience is attracted to both this spectacular explosion as well as the feeling of being close to the protagonist, which makes Kotcheff’s film so enticing.

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