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English media coursework (collateral)

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Introduction

In this essay I will be looking at the film "Collateral", directed by Michael Mann. I will be considering the representation of Tom cruise's character Vincent and looking at the genre of the film. The character of Vincent appears at L.A. Airport in the first scene, showing the audience that he is the important character and that everyone else in the crowd is not important. He seems odd; the clothes he wears are grey and this might suggest that he is trying to blend in with everyone but the audience, get the sense that he is more significant than others on screen. Overall his appearance tells that the audience that, he is trying to fit in with everyone but he has something about him that should make everyone suspicious. He is shot in close up at times, to make it clear to the audience that he is the main character. After the first killing Vincent tries to act if nothing happened but he is unable to hide it so he pulls a gun on the Jamie Foxx character, and that shows he is a violent character. ...read more.

Middle

'Collateral' could be called a suspense thriller because it tells the story of a cold hearted assassin out to kill all the people, he is contracted to execute. In the book Films in the Shadow of Alfred Hitchcock, Charles Derry identify six major thriller sub-types. These include thriller of murderous passions. This sub-type would include a film like 'Phone Booth'; where the villain intends to murder the character played by Colin Farrell, who treated his wife as unimportant because he was cheating on her with his girlfriend. 'Collateral' could be said to be a thriller of moral confrontation because at the end, or near the end of the film Vincent has changed from being an untouchable killer to a defeated and worthless man when he is defeated by Jamie Foxx (Max). It could also be called an innocent on the run thriller because at one point if the film the police believes that Max is the assassin, because the CCTV captures Max entering the club with a gun. ...read more.

Conclusion

Collateral could be said to be a thriller of moral confrontation because at the end or near the end of the film Vincent has changed from being an untouchable killer to a defeated and worthless man when he is defeated by Jamie Foxx (Max). It could also be called an innocent on the run thriller because at one point if the film the police believes that Max is the assassin, because the CCTV captures Max entering the club with a gun. In the final line of the film Vincent says to max as he is dying; "a guy gets on the MTA here in L.A and dies....You think anybody will notice". This line might leave the audience feeling sorry for him and the idea that he has had to live his life like that. The character of Vincent has been presented to the audience as a ruthless killer focused on assassinating the people he needs to. Vincent is an unusual representation of an assassin in this genre of the film because Tom cruise's performance asks for sympathy especially at the end of the film. By Jermaine Carthy ...read more.

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