The first film The Elevator depicts the story of a man who can’t seem to have a safe elevator ride. At first, he is in danger of the elevator falling as more and more people began to enter. He is scared so he leaves the elevator in fear of it falling due to the weight of the people inside. So, he leaves and goes into the next elevator which is filled with patients of swine flu. He can’t have a nice, peaceful and safe elevator ride in the end. It’s somewhat a comedy and in the end, it shows that in life you won’t always get what you want, and things don’t happen the way you would like. One element of mise-en-scene that I would like to show that was present in the film was the use of the costumes. The main character was dressed in dark clothing, especially his shirt which was all black.
In contrast the other characters that entered the elevator wore bright colorful clothing. They kind of stood out in the elevator while the main character clothes blended in with the background and only his face were visible. This use of color and costume shows that the other characters have an open-minded attitude and they aren’t really worried about the weight capacity of the elevator. While the main character is thinking close-minded and kind of thinking dark (the worst) about the situation and ends up leaving the elevator.
Now in terms of props and makeup you can tell that the main character is middle class because he is well groomed, has an expensive phone (at the time), and he has professionally casual clothing. He judgment towards the other characters makes him be of higher status because of the way he is looking down upon them. From the film, you can see that it is set in a hospital because it is filled with obese sickly people who are seeking help. The sign saying swine flu treatment center further proves the point.
Another element of mise-en-scene that is present in the film is the cinematographer’s choice of lighting. The lighting is very flat and dull, it’s something that you would expect in that type of environment. It’s high-key because everything is evenly lit and there is no contrast or difference between the highlights and shadows. Inside the elevator, itself is a lot brighter than outside in the hallway. The choice of lighting fits the mood and story that is being portrayed.
It also gives us a clear vision of what’s going on. It makes it easier for the viewer to analyze what’s going on and give further insight into the story because you can see what all the characters are wearing, their possession, etc. Most comedies use high key lighting to create a positive and lively feeling. The use of high key lighting portrays our main character as a bright and calm person because the lighting is very flattering. In opposition if low key lighting was used then he could be seen more as a villain. In terms of cinematography, the film is shown in an omniscient point of view because we can interpret what the character is feeling by seeing what he is doing and how he interacts with his environment.
It almost like we are watching what is going on as it takes place, it isn’t shown from the point of view of the character. Our main character isn’t driven by certain emotions shown the film is shown from eye level, he isn’t in power or afraid of another character. Another thing would be the use of depth and focal length used in the elevator scenes. The use of the focal length compresses him into the scene and makes him look small compared to the size and weight of the other characters.
He shows in the wide angles as the tiny character overwhelmed by these large people and in the end, he escapes the problem. In one of the shots, there was an overhead angle to shows how cramped and compact the space in the elevator was because of how many people were on it. The films use of mise-en-scene and cinematography effectively portrayed the story that was being communicated. It also added a little bit of story to the and his motivations. Its choice of shots and framing created a sort of suspension which ultimately showed the message.
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