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August Rush Essay

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A scene I enjoyed in the film was Evan being bullied at the orphanage. It showed the harsh reality he was living in before he escaped and became an amazing musician. My reasons for enjoying this scene are the lighting, dialogue and camera-work.

Firstly, the camera shots and techniques were used cleverly to impact the viewer’s emotions. The scene starts off with a shot of the moon. Moon-shots allude to horror and give a foreboding sense. You get a glimpse of Evan’s reality at the orphanage. It sets a dark, sinister, solitary mood as Evan is subjected to bullying with no one to defend him. The camera shows a close up of Mannix’s (the main bully) face and an extreme close up of Evan’s head being knocked. The scene shows low angle shots of the bullies towering over Evan making him look small and vulnerable. The bullies are made to look threatening. For instance, there is then an Over- the- Shoulder shot from behind Mannix looking down on Evan, which makes the bully look intimidating. All the shots are either close up or medium close up, this is done so it feels claustrophobic and the viewer can partially understand the emotions Evan is feeling.

Secondly, the dialogue used is a powerful insight into Evan’s thoughts, beliefs and reality. The dialogue before and after the scene is mainly voiceovers of Evan sharing his ideas and thoughts. Just before Evan is bullied there is a voiceover of Evan speaking. ‘Where I’ve grown up they’ve tried to stop me from hearing the music. But when I’m alone it builds up inside me and I think if I can learn how to play it … they might hear me they would know I was theirs and find me.’ This is important as it shows the perseverance and courage Evan has for standing up for his beliefs and introduces the concept that through music he’ll find his parents (referred to as ‘they’). This theory is a main theme throughout the film. During the scene where Evan is subjected to bullying the viewer begins to see Evan’s strength and persistence as Evan stands up to Mannix. For example, Mannix is teasing Evan about his parents’. Part of their conversation was, ‘Can you hear them?’

‘Yes.’
‘No, you can’t.’
‘I can.’
This shows that Evan really believes that he will find his parents. Straight after the bully scene there is another voiceover of Evan speaking. ‘Sometimes the world tries to knock it out of you. But I believe in music like some people believe in fairy tales.’ The viewer knows this line is significant because the camera zooms in on his face, which reinforces that he is thinking and then cuts to the moon, relating to fairy tales, which is another world away from the orphanage.

Lastly, the lighting has been used to create a sinister mood. It is low-key so the shadows are more prominent and the contrasts are more dramatic. The scene has also used lighting from below. For instance, this was used on Mannix’s face when teasing Evan. It is used to make him look threatening.

In conclusion this scene was constructed really well, they have used filmmaking techniques to create emotion in the viewer. The lighting was used well and created a sinister mood. The dialogue was powerful and gives the viewer an understanding of Evan’s thoughts, beliefs and reality. Lastly the camera techniques were used effectively to create claustrophobia and Evan’s vulnerability.

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