Sunday, 28 September 2014

Representation- Lester Burnham

Mise En Scene/Camera Shots

In the first shot the mise en scene reveals a lot about how Lester Burmham's character is represented. The lighting is very dark and shadowy on his side of the bed, which could indicate that he is in a dark period of his life and could represent him as being unhappy/depressed. The colour scheme of the mise en scene consists of dull and monotonous shades of white. I believe this represents a possible emptiness that his character is feeling, and could represent how dull and monotonous his life is. The camera shot used in this scene is a birds eye view/long shot.

In this second scene a 'two shot' camera angle is being used as it features two main subjects. Out of focus is Lester Burnham, spying on his wife behind a window that reflects that of prison bars. This could represent that Lester feels like he is trapped in his life or that he feels as if his life has been taken away from him. The mise en scene has a very obvious colour scheme of red, white, and blue. There are also American Beauty roses everywhere, which links to the title of the film (American Beauty).


Throughout the opening scene, the non diegetic soundtrack called 'Dead Already' plays in the background. This soundtrack has very repetitive and monotonous nature to it, which could represent Lester's mundane life. On the contrary, the soundtrack does sound upbeat and lively, which could've been deliberately used as a form of irony (because Lester's life is not upbeat nor lively). Alongside the soundtrack is the voice of Lester Burnham narrating the scene which is also non diegetic.

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