Saving Private Ryan 2

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    Analyse the methods used to make the opening battle sequence of Saving Private Ryan

    both shocking and realistic, and say how effective you find it as an introduction to the film.

    The film called Saving Private Ryan was directed by Steven Spielberg and was released on

    11th September 1998. The film tells us about the soldiers fighting at the Omaha Beach at D-

    Day, during WW2. The leading actors in the film are; Tom Hanks (Captain Miller), Tom

    Sizemore (Sergeant Horvath), Edward Burns (Private Reiben), Barry Pepper (Private

    Jackson), Jeremy Davies (Private Upham) and Matt Damon (Private Ryan). The film received

    five Oscars. The film is the war film gender. In the film we do not have any storyboarding or

    and the war is not used as a springboard. The film ma kes us as an audience feel scared and

    feel the chaos which was present during WW2. The use of handheld cameras made the

    audience fell like we are there following the soldiers that were walking into that hell.

    At the start of the first scene we see the American flag. That shows us the respect to all the

    American soldiers that died in the war. Then we see an elderly James Ryan visiting the

    graves of U.S. soldiers which is located at Colleveille-sur-Mer in Normandy, France. We see

    him walking and as he is walking the camera shows us more and more of the graves making

    the audience see how much people died during that one battle. Then we see camera slowly

    zooming on Ryans face to big close-up of his face. Then the scene cuts into deep focus of

    the beach with iron hedgehogs close and far away in the background. The sound of waves

    increases. Then we see a long shot of boats as they are getting closer to the shore and then

    it cuts to a close-up of Captain Millers hand shaking. Then we see the close-up of soldiers

    that are terrified. This shows us the slow changes of the film going from the calm to a more

    terrifying scene. We see soldiers viomiting and scared. That makes the film schocking and

    realistic as we are aware that they are going to fight to survive and t o kill other people. S.

    Speilberg did not hide or made -up any aspects of the film. He wanted to show us This

    makes the audience prepare or makes us feel that something chaotic is about to happen.

    There is no music during the close-ups of the boats and soldiers, which makes the scene

    realistic and serious, as we know that soldiers did not have any music and the music would

    not be appropriate in this moment. The whole situation and music is constructed in that

    particular pattern to make us aware of what is going to happen in the next scene.

    In the second scene begins as soon as the boat doors open. The soldiers standing at the

    right front of the boat are getting killed straight away.

    We see different types of medium and close-up shots of soldiers being killed. That presents

    the audience the chaos in the scene. The gunfire dominates the sound in the scene. We can

    hear bullets hitting and killing the soldiers. As the soldiers are coming out of the boats and

    try to fight for survival we can also hear a commands that are giving by captains of certain

    squads. We also see the over the shoulder German perspective shot which gives the

    audience the sense of German advantage over the U.S. soldiers that are on the beach. Some

    of the soldiers jump out of the boats into the water and camera follows them, which gives

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    us, soldiers perspective and makes it more realistic. When the camera is under the surface

    the sound is muted, apart from the bullets which are flying through and killing the soldiers

    even that are underwater. This brings us the fact that soldiers cannot get away from that

    hell. This shows us that soldiers are struggling both, on the surface and in the water. We

    also have some handheld camera shots which show us the soldiers perspective as we are

    making our way up the beach. The overall effect gives us overview at the carnage of various

    perspectives as the soldiers are approaching to the safe place, where they can survive the

    shots of machine guns. The close-ups bring the audience close to the action most of the

    time, which makes the audience aware of the situation that is going on.

    At the beginning of third scene we see Captains Miller confusion. We have a close-up on

    captain miller as he runs out of the bloody sea. W e can see his confusion and shock on his

    face which is known as a shell shock. We as an audience can see that he thinks why they are

    there; fighting, even though they know they are not going to make it. Then we can see jerky

    slow motion on captain and horror which is happening all around him. Then over the

    shoulder shot gives us, the audience perspective of Captain Miller. Then he puts back on his

    helmet with bloody water in it. All the water gets on his face making him look blood -

    spattered. That makes us the audience interpret it as he i s responsible for all the soldiers

    deaths. There is not much sound in that scene. Most of it is muted and the only thing we can

    hear is bombs exploding in the background. Then there is a young soldier shouting for the

    instructions silently. Then the sound is coming back gradually. We now hear the soldier loud

    and clear asking for instructions, above all the gunfire and explosions taking place. The

    overall effect of the scene gives us the impact of the horror that took place on a D -Day. It

    shows us that even the Captain, which meant that he supposed to be aware of what is going

    on and making the right decision, can be scared, shock and confused, when he is put in a

    situation where he is responsible for all the soldiers from his company .

    In scene four, the last scene of the opening battle sequence, all the soldiers rest including

    Captain Miller. Sergeant Horvath comments Thats quite a view a sentiment which is

    echoed by Miller. Then we see Captains Miller hand shaking again. Then camera cuts into

    long shot of overall beach, which is Captains Miller viewpoint. We can see all the dead

    soldiers lying on the beach, which makes the audience aware of what has happened just a

    few minutes ago. That shocks the audience by showing them how many soldiers died in th atone particular battle. The waves are red from the blood of all the dead soldiers. Then

    camera pans slowly left and then gradually zoom in on the backpack of one of the dead

    soldiers. The wording on the backpack says Ryan. Through the last scene there is a gentle

    music that fades in slowly from the beginning of the scene. The peaceful music makes the

    relief for the audience, as the music makes us aware that the fighting is now over. The last

    shot showing us the wording Ryan on the backpack of one of the fallen soldiers, presents

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    us, the audience a link between the title and the plot of the film and makes us curious of

    what will turn out in the next scenes.

    In the opening battle sequence of the film Saving Private Ryan we see lots of different

    camera shots and angles. The director of the film tried to present to us all the aspects of the

    battles that took place during WW2. All the stuff that he has covered in the film, makes thefilm shocking and realsitic. The soldiers perspective camera shots, makes us as an audience

    feel like we are in that situation struggling to survive. All those aspects make -up a very

    realsitic film, which has received many rewards.

    Bartosz Jama