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The Lovely Bones (Mise En Scene)

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The Lovely Bones is about a 14 year old girl called Susie Salmon who is the narrator in the film. On her way home from school one day, she is stopped by her neighbour George Harvey. He asks her to see the den he made in the cornfield. She thinks she can trust him, but regrettably he murders her. She tells her story from the place between heaven and earth, where she meets and learns about the stories of his other victims. But she can only watch as her devastated family begin their own investigation of her death. When Suzie is finally ready to move on, she goes to heaven where she feels happy and safe. The opening scene is introduced with a close up shot of Suzie’s snow globe. In this scene, Suzie is shown as a young girl. She worries for the penguin trapped alone inside it. Her Dad tells her, “Don’t worry, Suzie. He has a nice life. He is trapped inside a perfect world.” This resembles her life in heaven, which she also refers to as her own perfect world. This prop is shown at various points during the film which gives it importance. The lighting is generally quite dark and cool-toned to create shadows and show how sinister parts of the film can be.

Examples of this are scenes when her killer is shown, to make him appear to the audience as an evil man. However, in the scenes where Suzie is seen alive and in heaven for example, the lighting is brighter and more intense to resemble hope and show her growing happiness of how she is now safe. Special effects are used to make some scenes, such as heaven and the afterlife, seem supernatural and unearthly. Because of the camera framing, the viewer can identify the main characters. The use of close up shots draws attention and focuses on the characters to show their expression and emotion. The use of low angled long shots gives a sense of drama and tension. Also, the body language of the characters helps communicate with the audience in addition to their speech.

The non-diegetic sound-track relates to the plot to create a certain mood. The music becomes faster paced and very little dialogue is used in dramatic scenes; a technique which builds up a feeling of tension quickly to make the audience want to watch on to find out what happens next. In addition, the brightly coloured clothes she is dressed in suggests that she was generally quite a happy girl with a cheerful personality. Finally, I think this is a good film because it keeps the viewer engaged in the story by the constant suspense, which makes you want to find out what is going to happen next. Also, so many emotions are shown in the storyline, such as love, anger, happiness and sadness. These emotions are emphasised and make it powerful to create empathy.

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