Friday, 21 January 2011

Analysis of 3 suspenseful scenes in Collateral

Throughout the film of collateral, starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx, there were many suspenseful moments but I chose three to focus on, and the first one is the famous bag swap scene at the beginning.

The bag swap 
The scene starts off very slow and all you can see is Tom Cruise,because everybody else is blurred out, and you hear his foot steps which have been enhanced whilst editing. then the camera cuts to another man who as well on has the focus on him. This makes the viewer want to know what is the connection between the two men. The way Tome Cruise is walking in slow motion and the other man isn't makes Tom Cruise, along with his blacked out sunglasses, look more powerful and have a licence to kill. As the man walks normally this makes him look more normal and innocent. However, we get a shock when the two bump into each other. The instant match cut to the bags makes them the focal point and the director wants us to focus on it. The over the shoulder close ups lets us see the expression on the actors face to show that the are up to something. Then the very first time we hear music in this clip is when Tom Cruise goes to pick up the bag and walks off. The music gradually gets to a faster pace and just at the end it sounds like time is ticking which therefore gives the feel that he's on a mission. 

Tom Cruise walking through the motel
The scene begins with Tom Cruise getting out the car and telling Jamie Fox to meet him in the alley behind the motel. As Tom Cruise leaves and we know that Jamie Fox is alone and then a soft piano based music begins. this makes the view feel calm and peaceful. However, when the camera cuts to Tom there is no peaceful music, instead there is no music at all just the distressing sound of a baby crying. Every time the camera cuts to Jamie the tranquil music plays because the director wants us to feel how he feels. By now we already know what kind of character Tom Cruise is playing so we expect something to happen. The cross cutting between the two characters creates suspense because whilst one is calm inside his car and oblivious to what is going to happen, the other knows perfectly what is about to happen and is out for the kill. The fact that when we see Tom Cruise, we only see him walking to through the motel, and are waiting for him to find his location and kill who he needs to kill makes the scene more suspenseful. When the man falls on top of the taxi the soft piano music which we associate with Jamie is still playing. This is what gives the viewer the shock.

The pair being pulled over by the police
Straight after just killing someone Tom and Jamie drive away with the body in the trunk and a cracked wind screen. when we hear the police sirens we know that they are going to be caught out and that it is just a matter of time. The use of close ups shows the emotion in the characters face which makes us sympathise with them. High angle shots make Jamie Fox look vulnerable. The way that Jamie takes some time to respond to the police officer's questions makes the scene longer and more suspenseful and the way he doesn't seem too sure about his answers makes the viewer feel that the police definitely won't believe him. Throughout the clips so far there is no music, but just as Tom Cruise tells Jamie to not dare open the trunk, a low weary sound begins. The pace of the scene is very slow which makes the viewer feel on the edge because they know that he will be arrested so they just want it over and done with, but when one of the police officers gets a call for a shooting not far from there, the pair and the viewers can relax as they won't be arrested. 

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