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How does Brian De Palma reveal character, advance the plot and establish subtext through the one or more mise en scene in Carlito's Way?

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Introduction

How does Brian De Palma reveal character, advance the plot and establish subtext through the one or more mise en scene in Carlito's Way? Al pacino's Carlito's emanates as a common example of a protagonist clinging to their dreams yet drifting within shadows of their former selves. Character's who are world-weary and set on retirement yet hell bent on "one last job' or a long due desire for absolution. They come as troubled souls unable to define a new existence, yet driven by a goals to realise it. In Carlito's case renting ford pinto's in the Bahamas. However the film hinges on the protagonists constant struggles to what hinders such dreams, most typically shadowy figures and past deeds emerging from the past to return and haunt them. Although the protagonists are reluctant heroes, they are not weak or negative figures living under the maxim of no heroes amongst thieves, they are "The strongest figures of assertion the cinema has ever produced, because they reverse, "the striving from this world to the other into a striving from another world to this one" Carlito's sees himself in a new light, consequently neglecting his former ...read more.

Middle

Using distractions to acquire weapons (first a pool ball, then a pool stick to disarm and gain a loaded pistol) Carlito manipulates the mise en scene and makes a stage of his own to gain an advantage over the killers around him. In the second scene, Carlito is again the unexpected guest once more welcomed to the boat by the query "who's he?". However at sea, gone is the six sense and self awareness which enabled him to survive on the territory he was raised on. He is literally both a fish out of water, and lost helplessly at sea as he bewilderingly protests "I cant see"; similarly to the way Guajiro was fatally unable to see the cold beer. De Palma also stresses Carlito's uncomfortably ill-equipped position by dressing him in the same leather clad costume he wore during the pool scene, a contrast to Dave's and Frankie's equipped and ready to go water wear. Dave instead composes the action of the boat scene and uses distractions by commanding Frankie to "keep his eye on the light"; similarly to the way Carlito commands a pool player to keep his "eye on the ball". ...read more.

Conclusion

There is also a symbolic connection to women, considering that Benny and Tony, both young and cocky punks who not only wish to take over their old school counterparts, but also the trophy women veiled around them. When this is threatened, both Frank and Carlito take action which consequently leads to their inevitable doom. The trigger which finally instigated Frank's decision to kill Tony is out of jealous rage for his wife's ever growing affections for Tony's charms. (Frank intervenes when Tony speaks to his wife) Frank Lopez: Why don't you take a hike and find your own broad, I'm giving you orders, no! Tony Montana: Orders? You're giving me orders? Amigo, the only thing in this world that gives orders is balls, you got that? Balls. In Carlito's way it is his club dancer who instigates Carlito's decision to forcibly intervene when Benny aggressively grabs her. (A standoff between Carlito's and Benny, who is arrested by Carlito's men) Carlito: Stand him here! now keep him here, keep him here....Okay Benny Blanco from the Bronx, the chick Steffy belongs to the club, and If I ever, I mean if I ever see you here again, you die, just like that" ...read more.

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