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4 pages/≈1100 words
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Visual & Performing Arts
Movie Review
English (U.S.)
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Film Noir (Movie Review Sample)


Ways in which Tarantino uses thematic and stylistic devices to convey the inability of characters to live a "real" or authentic life and be a "real" or authentic person

Ways in which Tarantino uses thematic and stylistic devices to convey the inability of characters to live a "real" or authentic life and be a "real" or authentic person
Film noir is a cinematography expression used chiefly to describe classy Hollywood crime dramas, predominantly those that accentuate cynical attitudes and sexual impetuses. ‘Reservoir Dogs’ is an American crime motion picture produced in 1992 depicting the proceedings prior to and subsequent to a bungled diamond heist; however, it does not include the heist itself. This film served as the official unveiling of prolific director and playwright Tarantino and boasts of a band cast including Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, Chris Penn, and Harvey Keitel among others. It incorporates many themes - profuse profanity, nonlinear storyline, pop culture references, and a violent crime. This paper is going to discuss thematic and stylistic devices typical of neo-noir films that were employed by Tarantino conveying the inability of the characters to live authentic lives.
The film commences with eight men having breakfast prior to their premeditated diamond heist with six of them using aliases; Mr. Orange, Mr. Blonde, Mr. White, Mr. Pink, Mr. Brown and Mr. Blue. In this scene, Joe Cabot, the planner of the heist, is also introduced and Nice Guy Eddie who is his son. The action then abruptly changes to a speeding car as they are headed to an abandoned warehouse after the heist. It is then revealed that Mr. Brown demised during the heist and Mr. Blonde killed several civilians during the heist.
On arriving, Eddie comes in soon, and they leave with both Mr. White and Mr. Pink for retrieval of the stolen diamonds and disposal of the vehicles used in the heist. What follows is an altercation between Mr. Blonde and Mr. Orange, undercover cop, culminating in the death of the former as he attempted to kill Nash after having tortured him- slashing the visage with a blade, severing the right ear and dousing him with gasoline in a bid to light him up- albeit he was a police officer. When the rest come back, and Joe arrives, they kill each other, but Mr. Pink escapes with the diamonds as he was involved in this melee. Mr. White then learns that his confidant, Mr. Orange, was, in fact, the police informant who set them up. The movie culminates in an all-high-climax with the camera firmly focused on Mr. White as he held his gun onto Mr. Orange’s head with policemen surrounding and pointing firearms at him and then the sound of a gunshot is over-heard in the distance; undoubtedly a suspense-filled-climax and ending to this impeccable work of cinematography.
Stylistic Devices
Myriads of neo-noirs are characterized by the style of chiaroscuro which refers to low-key lighting schemes associated with austere luminous, as well as dark distinctions and dramatic shadow patterning (O'Brien). This is the same style utilized by Tarantino in his film to aid in the conveyance of the inability of the six colour-coded named gangsters to lead authentic lives. Commencing with the posters that were released on the onset of this film, the shades depicted cast on an actor, a barricade, or a whole set. The lighting on the posters was murky with stalwart shadows identifying the film a postmodernist neo-noir (O'Brien). Another visual aspect of the film in terms of lighting is the obscuring of character visages, either partially or wholly, by darkness- a virtual rarity...
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