Last Updated 07 Jul 2020

The Perfect Storm and the Titanic analysis

Category Love, music, Titanic
Essay type Analysis
Words 1589 (6 pages)
Views 529

The Perfect Storm and the Titanic are both films that are based on true events; they also contain fictional plots and characters. This combination of fact and fiction is the main reason for these accounts becoming films rather than documentaries or other information based programme, as it includes an extra area of interest into the film which would usually be flat because of the droning historical backgrounds. To increase the tension and sympathy felt by the audience at each climatic ending, the directors both use the fictional plots.

They take this fact and fiction as a n advantage, and because of this both plots are based on romance, and the people involved around the love. In the case of Jack and Rose, their love creates more tension and sympathy at the ending because it is a forbidden love across the class boundaries of rich and poor, but which seems to be so strong. Bobby and Kristina's love is open and strong. By using these romantic liaisons and including many biographical details throughout the films, it increases the depth of the emotions felt by the audience.

This is clearly seen in the Perfect Storm when as the ship is beginning to sink and the camera is showing clips of the crew below deck, Murphy says to the person he is with, 'this is gonna be hard on my son. ' This has a direct impact on the audience as earlier in the film he tried to explain to his son that: his mother might remarry or get a new partner; then he would be his father as well; the young boy does not like this idea and wants his father to stay.

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Because of this knowledge from earlier in the film it also makes the audience sad for the families of the dead because in the end the only reason they were going was because they wanted to bring in money for their families, but the skipper only wanted to go to bring up his weights in the fish market. Due to both these films developing from actual events, it is crucial for both of these films settings to be fully detailed to add emphasis to the authenticity and credibility of the films.

Titanic was an extremely expensive film because of the directors adhering themselves completely to the effect authenticity could have on a film and the way it would make the fictional plot more plausible. The characters were attired in costumes of the period, also the quality of the clothes the actors wore was different to help enforce the class boundaries and the forbidden love between Jack and Rose; in the Perfect Storm the ship is strewn with copious amounts of paraphernalia required for deep sea fishing.

The rugged disorganisation emits to the audience an atmosphere of frequent use which takes its toll on the boat and the crew who seem to be continuously draw to the punishment of the sea. To add emphasis to the setting and feeling of hopelessness when the Titanic begins to sink, a short clip is included. It only lasts for a couple of seconds but that is enough for it to have an impact on the audience. It shows the Titanic in all its glowing glory, in the middle of the pitch black Atlantic Ocean, the water is so dark you can't tell where the water is and where the sky is.

The music in both films seems to be centred on an orchestra. During scenes when there is great suspense, tension and danger the music changes. It becomes thicker and louder, the tempo often increases and there is a contrast between the length and the pitch of notes and the instruments used. There are long, quite high pitched notes being played by wind and string instruments, with the quickening drum beats and low wind instrument blasts, which are often accompanied by clashing cymbals.

This type of music occurs in both films: in the Titanic when the ship hits the iceberg; during the Perfect Storm when the helicopter crashes and while the crew attempt an about turn with the boat. During 'tender' moment, the sound changes dramatically. For instance, when Rose and Jack are reunited, the music fades into the compassionate theme tune, which is played stridently over the top of resonating sound of the two lovers running feet. The effect of this is to emphasise the audience's awareness of the absolute love felt between them.

This use of love in each film brings conflicting thoughts into the heads of the audience. For some reason, the audience feels compassionate towards the plight of the characters, almost admiring them for their bravery in the face of danger, but in both films it was clearly the decision of the individuals themselves to undertake the journeys. In the Perfect Storm this idea is again conflicted with the audience's knowledge that most of the people are only going on the voyage to raise funds so they can support their families.

In the end the feeling of the audience towards the characters within the film is one of sympathy because the characters are trying to be the people they are expected to be; to live up to standards and to push the boundaries of anticipation; to provide more for their families so that they can live a better life almost to the point of foolhardiness. During the Perfect Storm when the boat reaches the eye of the storm, there are many alterations in the film to effect the mood and feelings of the audience.

The music undergoes an almost undetectable metamorphosis, slipping gently between the dramatically thick, heavy use of instruments in the time of danger, slowly filtering out most of the noise to leave a lightly textured tone of long high wind and string notes. In the duration of this scene the lighting is also subtly changed. The first shot is from outside the boat, surrounded by tumbling waves and rolling dark clouds. The camera is then focused on the bridge of the Andrea Gale in an interior shot and onto the faces of William and Bobby. The bridge is surrounded by an almost glaring darkness.

As they hit the eye of the storm, their faces are slowly illuminated by a rich honey coloured light. The camera changes to a shot from within the bridge of the boat. The audience's eye is lead, out over the prow of the boat onto a large zone of calm, soothingly lapping water bathed in the rich ambiance of the light from between the parted huge billowing cumulus clouds. The expressions on the faces of the crewmen change to facades of wonder. But these expressions are quickly transformed to their former selves as the subtle light fades into the darkness.

At this point the audience's senses are heightened to the emotions of the characters and the audience feels a sudden heaviness which makes them sympathetic as they can see the process of realization that occurs on the crew as the find they are at the centre of the storm. This use of lighting is also used on the Titanic. The lights on the ship begin to flicker on and off soon after the collision with the iceberg. This is a successful technique as it mingles with the audience's knowledge that they already have of the historical background to the film.

This makes the audience nervous as they can see the upper class going around like it was any other day on the ship, as they believe the ship to be unsinkable and do not realise the immediate danger to their lives. To add to the extent of the effect that the lighting has on the audience, many techniques are used at the same time in conjunction with one another. This is often the case with lighting and camera angles. For instance, in both films to emphasise the tremendous tragedies of each accident, series of short clips are added in the endings.

In the Perfect Storm the camera quickly concludes the lives of each character below deck by focusing on them during their last moments, this takes you around the below deck area of the ship as each man seems to be in the place most familiar to them. This cutting to and from each character adds to the authenticity of each character's life as their emotions are plainly seen and have a large impact on the audience. This is also used in the Titanic, as the quartet plays out it's final ballad flashing images are shown that correspond to earlier in the film when you see the lower classes being locked below deck.

The images include: two elderly people lying together on their bed saying their last goodbyes, the camera is above them to show the water rising around them; an Irish woman telling her children a bedtime story to make them sleep and try to reduce their suffering. This is almost from the perspective of the children to show how this grieves the mother: the faces of the ship stewards as they continue to try and keep the lower classes down below where they will inevitably die; Dr. Andrews standing alone on the lounge of the upper class contemplating the fate of many that he knew should this situation occur would die, the shot is sweeping and on an angle, drawing through the lounge to the dining room where the floor is completely submerged in water on which most of the furniture is floating. Throughout these clips the lighting flashes constantly or is completely cut off, surrounding the people in the darkness of their imminent expiration.

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The Perfect Storm and the Titanic analysis. (2017, Jul 07). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/perfect-storm-titanic-analysis/

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