Analysis 1 - Detailed Written Analysis - Limitless
Analysis 1 – Detailed Written Analysis –LimitlessCameraworkExample 1:This wide shot shows the protagonist from the film perched on the edge of anapartment balcony. The character is shown to be very small on the shot incomparison to his surroundings, which represents him as overwhelmed andvulnerable. This is typical in the thriller genre as it represents how the events inthe narrative have put the character under serious strain and conflict. The wideshot also emphasizes the deadly situation the character is in which is typical ofthe thriller genre and will leave the trailer on a cliffhanger ending that willencourage the target audience to see the film.
Example 2:This low angle long shot once again puts the protagonist in a dangerous anddaring situation typical of the thriller genre but this time shows him to be incontrol. The low angle looking up on the character emphasizes his control andpower, which is a result of the pill he has taken. This is conventional of thepsychological genre as it displays the extreme feats of the pill.Example 3:
This mid shot is at the beginning of the trailer and emphasizes the progression ofthe narrative. It does this through presenting the scruffy appearance of theprotagonist. The shot begins to pan as the character walks across the road anddisplays the angry look on his face, which connotes his frustration at his life thatis going nowhere. This is in juxtaposition to how his lifestyle developsthroughout the narrative therefore this shot fully establishes the equilibrium ofthe film allowing the audience to have a greater understanding of the filmsstoryline.EditingExample 1:This is an example of eyeline match as it shows the protagonist looking at whathe is holding and then a shot of the pill he is holding. The first shot displays thecuriosity on his face, which reveals to the audience that what he is holding is apoint of interest and significance. The second shot then fully reveals the pillwhile the voiceover explains what it does which explains the disequilibrium ofthe narrative. It also opens up a conventional story arc to the psychological genrethrough the boosted mental state of the protagonist.Example 2:
This shot shows a use of CGI that reveals a series of numbers and equations onthe ceiling. This will stand out to the audience and make the shot morememorable as it does not reveal what is actually there but in fact provides aninsight into the protagonist’s mind allowing the audience to relate more to whathe is experiencing. The insight into his mind is also conventional of thepsychological genre as it shows his new thought process since he has taken thepill.Example 3:Editing is also used to create a conventional thriller trailer through theincreasing fast paced editing. At the start of the trailer the editing is slow whichsupports the portrayal of the protagonist’s life that is going nowhere. The pace ofthe editing however starts to increase as the pace of the protagonist’s life doesup to the point where he is under attack from thugs where the transitionbetween each shot becomes more and more frequent. This adds to the sense ofexcitement and tension in the trailer, which is a key characteristic of the thrillergenre.Miseen SceneExample 1:
This shot displays many aspects of mise-en-scene that create an introduction tothe protagonists life. For example the low-key lighting within the room connotesthe negative route in which his life is currently heading. The setting of a rundown bar creates a similar impression and contrasts some of the luxurious andglamorous locations he is in later on in the trailer. Props are used such as theglass of whiskey which he is drinking from which creates the impression he has areckless nature and has a negative attitude towards his life; this impression isadded to with the protagonists costume which is looks scruffy and dirty, onceagain contrasting outfits he is seen in later on.Example 2:
This shot is put in the trailer as a form of juxtaposition to example 1 as it showsthe protagonist in a contrasted atmosphere. The use of props such as the shotglass he is holding link this scene to the previous one but other aspects of miseen scene contrast it such as the setting, which is clearly a much more upmarketbar than the one he was previously in which connotes the increase in his qualityof life.His costume is used to the same effects as his smart shirt and blazer isclearly more expensive and professional than the plain old t-shirt he is wearingin example 1 and signifies his wealth and power. This will create a sense ofintrigue within the audience who will be interested to see how the characterdeveloped into what he is at this point.Example 3:
The mise en scene is used conventionally for the thriller genre in this extract dueto the use of props such as the knife being held by the antagonist, which creates asense of threat and danger, conventional of this genre. As this is seen from theperspective of the protagonist it allows the audience to feel more engaged in thescene and persuaded to watch the film. The characters appearance and costumeadds to his menace and state of authority, which emphasizes the state of peril theprotagonist is in.SoundExample 1:The action in the trailer begins with the accompaniment of a voiceover from themain protagonist. This non-diegetic sound is a conventional trait of the start of atrailer and a film alike and allows the audience to both engage with the characterand be introduced to the concept and themes of the film. In this trailer, thevoiceover creates a humorous tone to the scene in reference to the “I’m a writer”quote, which adds a sense of personality to the main protagonist. It alsocontinues to explain the plot developments within the film throughout thetrailer, which proves it to be an efficient way of presenting an outline of the filmin a trailer to its audience.Example 2:Another considerable use of non-diegetic sound in the extract is the soundtrackitself which changes in pace and tone depending on the action. It starts off slowpaced to represent his life going nowhere and begins to pick up in pace as the
protagonists life begins to change. This is a conventional and effective means ofsetting the scene and helps to convey the mood and intensity of a scene. Towardsthe end of the soundtrack, a famous song by Kanye West is incorporated into itthat would be well known to a large amount of the audience. This is an effectivetechnique, as it would help the audience remember the trailer and associate itwith that song.Example 3:Diegetic sound is also used in the trailer to emphasize the tension such as loudcar engines, the sound of doors being kicked in and people being punched in theface etc. All of these are conventional for the thriller genre as it shows theprotagonist in a situation of danger and peril that is often shown in thrillertrailers. It will also appeal to the audience who will associate these sound effectswith exciting scenes and will be inclined to see how these scenes pan out.Conventions, Representations and NarrativesThe main protagonist is represented in two contrasting ways during thenarrative, firstly as a down on his luck loser and secondly as a hotshotmillionaire; the technical elements emphasize this change. Despite it being athriller there is no clear, main protagonist represented in the trailer despitesome minor shots of thugs threatening the lead character. This could beexplained due to the psychological nature of the film, suggesting the mainconflict of the protagonist to be with himself. The narrative follows thetraditional form of equilibrium (the pill drastically improving the quality of theprotagonists life), disequilibrium (him getting into trouble and experiencing sideeffects of the pill) and the resolution is not featured within the trailer as ittypically only previews and promotes the main film. Other conventions of theform include the companies and actors names appearing at the beginning andend and on-screen text that outlines key themes of the plot.