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What is the Importance of Mise-en-Scene in the Sequence "A Reason to knock" and what is its Impact on the Audience?

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What is the Importance of Mise-en-Scene in the Sequence "A Reason to knock" and what is its Impact on the Audience? This scene displays useful mise-en-scene to create tension and inform us about John Doe in the sequence "A Reason to knock". At the beginning of this scene we see Mills and Somerset approach Doe's door. John Doe's front door (like all the others on that level) is red symbolising blood, danger, death and anger. This immediately catches our attention, as it is the only colourful object in shot - apart from the blood all over Mills, which again reminds us of all the symbolism of the door and the colour red, not forgetting the danger involved in the entire situation. Mills leads us into the apartment. As an audience, we are almost blinded by the light of Mill's torch as it shines directly at the camera and then beams through the apartment, shining light on the situation as we find out more about the life of John Doe. The first thing we see is the torch being shone on a tool cupboard. The tool kit is neat and angular, symbolising perfection in what he does. ...read more.


Somerset has looked at evidence in the drawers and the museum type archive, showing that he is interested in the deeper reasons behind the case and tells us yet more about his personality, revealing that he is slower and more methodical. Mills has just looked at things and objects with obvious 'on the spot' meaning, he is perhaps faster and more superficial in both the way he works and his personality. The bed is plain, rather like a hospital or prison bed. It is a greyish black with a dirty coloured sheet and one pillow, this showing that he is simple and plain and relates back to his religion and a connection with a monastic life. Next to the bed we see a large crucifix with Jesus, again accentuating his religious attitudes. From the point of view of a person lying down on the bed, this crucifix would be on the right-hand side of the person illustrating how his strong beliefs and shrines are correct or 'right' according to him and accentuates his religion. Although from the outside, looking in through the door of the room and an onlooker's point of view, it is on the left showing how others may perceive it as being strange or even incorrect. ...read more.


When the camera cuts back to Mills, we see him walking over to the bath followed by a low-angle reaction shot of Mills's face which looks confused, yet frightened and angry at the same time. As he shouts to Somerset repeatedly, we automatically assume the worst and at this point I thought there must be a dead body in the bath so my heart was racing. Somerset leaves the diary and runs to the bathroom where he sees Mills perching by the side of the bath, not looking happy. This delay and procrastination in showing us the contents of the bath is deliberately used to build up more and more tension before relieving it. As we see the photographs of Mills, first reactions assume that he will be next although we are not quite sure what to decide. This consequently relieves the built up tension but increases our worry in this vicious circle of tension building and relief. In conclusion we can tell that mise-en-scene is effectively used to inform the audience about John Doe's life and motivation while creating tension in the frightening atmosphere of his apartment. It also gives us more information about the detectives on the whole. Daniella Angel 3RD DRAFT 1 1 Word Count: 1,520 ...read more.

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