The Crucible Film Essay

The Crucible Film Essay

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The Crucible Film

The Crucible; an intensely emotional and dramatic film based on the
horrific story of the Salem witch trials. The opening and concluding
sequences are of great importance in conjuring the melancholy
atmosphere present throughout the story. The director uses various
different devices to achieve this.

A variety of camera techniques are used throughout the beginning
sequence to enhance the mood and involve the audience. Camera
techniques are harmonized with lighting effects to culminate this
dramatic scene. I will begin by discussing examples of this.

In the village, many close-ups and long shots are used to enhance
facial expression and to set the sombre mood.

Opening on a zoom shot of Abigail's face, an aura of gloom is created
by the cold colour scheme and her shadowed expression. The bleak décor
of the room shown in this scene is used to further emphasize the
gothic theme of the film. The camera tracks then tracks her out into
the village, it's angle showing the village as she would see it;
claustrophobic and dark. This may be used as a visual metaphor
implying the repressive, narrow-minded nature of the Salem society.

A zoom shot is used to show the other village girls simultaneously
rush from their houses after Abigail, towards the grim-looking forest
ahead. This illustrates Abigail as the girls' leader, and the fact
that the film opens on her establishes her as a main character.

As the film changes scene, the camera techniques change likewise.
Panning and tracking conjure a sense of tension and chaos, and this
effect is teamed with austere colour schemes of purple and blue. The
camera is in mid-...


... middle of paper ...


...characters. The first
sequence is guaranteed to widen an audience's eyes, getting their
heartbeat racing as the tension builds. After the audience is put
through feelings of anxiety, happiness and awe throughout the middle
of the film, the mood is brought back down to a funereal sombreness,
as the "favourite" character is brought to an end. But perhaps this
scene could be made even more powerful if more focus was put on the
battle for John's conscience, instead of the infidelity of the central
character?

Also, I think that an alternative end to the finishing sequence could
be more effective. When John is hung, this could be shown from his
perspective; the onlookers gradually becoming faded as he swung above
them. The audience still left to imagine John's final state, this
gives a more powerful and enduring image.

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