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Saving Private Ryan - media review of the opening scenes.

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Introduction

Saving Private Ryan Media Coursework "Saving Private Ryan" is an intense war film set on Omaha beach, in the Dog green sector, Normandy, France on June 6th, 1944. The public's reaction to this brilliant film when it was first released was very positive such as Almar Haflidason from the BBC saying "What is abundantly clear is that in the massive body of films that deal with World War II, this is one that pulls no punches." And www.reel.com's Tor Thorsen "Hailed as the greatest war movie of all time, Saving Private Ryan is one of those few movies that lives up to its hype." This film is different from previous war films because it gives the viewer a 1st person view and it is on a smaller scale, this involves the audience and gives them an insight into what war may have actually been like. Spielberg uses different camera shots, sound, colour, lighting and the contrasting pace of the two scenes to show the true horrors of war. In the beginning scene, the family are shown walking to the graveyard where the men, who died at Omaha beach, on D-Day, are buried. ...read more.

Middle

From this we can tell he is incredibly frightened but by the way he controls his bottle with his other hand we know he has to try and be strong as he is leading the rest of the group. Sound and silence also play an important role in showing the reality of war like the soundtrack in scene one. This music was very proud but also slightly sad. There were trumpets and a flute playing which made the music mellow and created a relaxed mood. This music set the genre for the film as it signified the end of a war and peace. There were very few sound effects used in scene one compared to scene two. The only thing we heard was the scrunching of gravel and the click of a camera. I think this was because the group were remembering the war and they were in a graveyard so they had to be silent as a matter of respect. Also this fitted in with the sad mood of the scene. Also one word was spoken in the scene when the old man falls to his knees and his son says the word "Dad". ...read more.

Conclusion

I think Spielberg decided to open on a slow scene to add more emotion and feeling into the scenes. This allowed the audience to identify with the characters and to find out the genre of the film. The pace of the second scene is different, it is much faster and more action packed. I think it has to be like this as that was what the war was like the soldiers had to push up quickly to avoid death and to secure the beach. The bullets were also very fast and were constantly whizzing past this increased the pace of the scene. Both scenes also ended with a close up of a face which brings the pace down and shows us how the person is feeling e.g. Tom Hanks and the Old Man. In these two scenes I feel Spielberg was trying to capture the true horrors of war and put the audience into the action. He did this using the lighting, sound, colour, pace and contrast between the two scenes. He has succeeded in his aims by making you really feel your there. I personally think these beginning scenes set up the film perfectly showing the viewer a glimpse of the horrors of war and making them feel for the soldiers that died during it. ...read more.

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