In the final scene from Thelma and Louise the cinematographic effects are astounding. Panning, reaction shot, and dissolve are all used in the last section of the movie clip extensively. These three cinematographic terms are perfect for this clip because of the intensity they add to the scene. Through the use of panning, reaction shot, and dissolve the actresses portray two extreme emotions of desperation and the tranquility of freedom.
Desperation is seen in many different instances throughout the clip. Thelma and Louise (Susan Sarandon and Gena Davis) are finally pushed to their limit in this final scene. Thelma (Gena Davis) comes to the realization that the two women can no longer run away. As she proposes her conclusion to their ventures, the camera switches from Thelma to Louise as each speak. You never see the opposite actress as one is speaking. You cannot see their reactions until they speak themselves. This is referred to as a reaction shot (Filmland). The scene is view from over the shoulder of the actress opposite the speaker. As Thelma is proposing that the two take a plunge to their ultimate freedom, the movie watcher views this through Louise's eyes. Those watching see Thelma's desperation and determination in her eyes are she tells Louise of their single alternative to being caught. As soon as Louise speaks the camera quickly changes from the view of Louise to the view through Thelma's eyes. Now, those viewing can see Louise's reaction and surprise. This effect if very powerful and effective during this scene because you feel as you are in the movie with them (Emerson 2). It pulls the viewer into the movie.
Desperation is also expre...
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...nd image gradually appears (Filmland). This effect is usually done using a black screen to represent an ending of some sort. In Thelma and Louise the dissolve is white. The color white also represents freedom and happiness. Thelma and Louise have reached their freedom.
Cinematography, if used properly, adds immensely to the action and effects of a film. Thelma and Louise greatly benefited from panning shots, reactions shots, and dissolve. To the untrained eye these effects go completely unnoticed and unappreciated but to those who do appreciate them know that because of cinematography Thelma and Louise is a masterpiece.
Emerson, Jim. "Thelma and Louise." New York Times 12 December 1990. 4 April 2001
Filmland Cinematography Dictionary. "Film, Audio, and Video Terminology." 4 April
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