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Research Exercise

In: Social Issues

Submitted By BellaC
Words 865
Pages 4
Assignment One – Film Analysis (Mise en scene, Hero)
Hero (Zhang Yimou, 2002), is a Chinese martial art movie which was first released in China on 24th Oct 2002. Starring by Jet Li as the nameless protagonist, Tony Leung as Broken Sword and Maggie Cheung as Flying Snow. This film was based on the story of the attempt on assassination of the Qin emperor by Jing Ke. The scene that I chose to carry out my analysis would be the part from 45.07 minutes to 50.07 minutes where it started from Flying Snow’s effort to stop Broken Sword from appearing at the battle until her fight started with Nameless. In hero, from the scene 46.54 minutes until 47.02 minutes, the settings of the scene act as a metaphor. The location shows a wide compound overwhelming Flying Snow which emphasize that she is going to confront the battle with Nameless alone. It give us a feeling that she is tough and determined to face what is after her even she is aware that her enemy is much more powerful and stronger than she is. She firmly walks toward her horse also denote to us that Flying Snow is unafraid to die and is mentally prepared to face what is about to fall upon her. In addition, the scene 47.11 minutes to 47.16 minutes shows that Broken Sword is standing high up on the hill, portraying the feeling that they are growing further apart and have to leave one another’s life in the future. At the same time, the contradiction between their locations show that he was given the chance to stay alive contrasting to Flying Snow, who is on the crest of the valley ready to carry out the sacrifices for him. The scene 47.22 minutes to 47.31 minutes where Flying Snow slowly faded out of sight symbolizes that she is now slowly faded out of Broken Sword’s life. Moreover, in the scene from 47.57 minutes to 48.02 minutes where the battle was about to spark off, the settings is set in a windy and sandy condition creating a sense of tension to the audience. Likewise, the colour settings is also an important aspect as the colour usage of a unit manage to portray different messages to the audience. The director is smart enough for using different colours to bring out the variation in emotions from the stories each told by Nameless and the emperor. In comparison to the other two stories revealed, it can be interpreted that the blue theme is used here to signify the pure love between Broken Sword and Flying Snow, their loyalty towards each other as well to illustrate a harmonize feeling. Furthermore, in the scene where the couple is forced to separate, the colour of the costumes is coordinated with the background and settings to further intensify the emotions and underlying message through the different stories told. The make-up and physical appearance of the characters in this scene is softer and tidier compared to the more intense outlook in another story told. Flying Snow’s hair was being tied up and her make-up turned to be more conservative. The colour of the costumes, settings and make-up are working together to convey the meaning and emotions set for the particular story. Besides, colour of the costume can be used to differentiate an enemy from a friend. In the battle between Nameless and Flying Snow, the armor of the armies and outfit of Nameless is contrasted with the outfit of Flying Snow. The darker and heavier armor shows that the armies and Nameless are the bad and dominant ones compared to the light, blue linen fabric worn by Flying Snow, portraying her as the “positive” ones in the movie. Lighting is another aspect in mise-en-scene which is used to shape the meaning and draws out emotion of the story and character. In the scene where the troops of armies are on their way to arrest Flying Snow, low-key lighting is edited to display a strong contrast between the armies and the background. This create a heavy sensation to the audience whereby a battle is going to spark off. Conversely, high-key lighting is used during the battle between Nameless and Flying Snow. The editor is trying to convey an optimistic feeling of Flying Snow and her hope placed on Nameless to reach the goal of assassinating the emperor. Furthermore, the director can also control the arrangement of actors on set to show the different status of the characters as well indirectly portraying an underlying information. For example, the technique, blocking is used when Nameless asked for permission to arrest Flying Snow where the general is set in front of the troop of army, signifying his higher rank than the rest of the soldiers. In addition, the systematic arrangement of the army in their formation as well in receiving order through the gesture of the general told us that the soldiers in Qin dynasty were all well-trained and organized.

(820 words)

Reference List
Hero. Dir. Yimou Zhang. Perf. Jet Li and Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung. 2002.

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