Film studies micro reading How does the mood, atmosphere and Emotion change in the first two scenes of saving Private Ryan?

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How does the mood, atmosphere and Emotion change in the first two scenes of saving Private Ryan?

In the first seven Minuets of Saving Private Ryan the audience are taken through many different emotions. The opening sequence starts in present day at a war cemetry in France, then goes into the past. This makes the emotions reach a higher level because when the audience see the soldiers fighting in the war, they are reminded of the image of the graves throughout the film.

Before any action takes place, a tune which is similar to "the last post" can be heard that the audience would immideatly associate with the war. This is because it is usually heard at rememberence day cerimonies and at solidiers funerals. This creates a mood of mourning and greif. The music also indicates that it is currently modern day as the tune was used after the war. During this the title is appearing on screen, it is a plain white font on a black background. The audience may find this unusual as white signifies innocence and purity which is the opposite of war. However it could be interpreted in several other ways. Such as good overcoming evil, or that Private Ryans character is a good person who is trying to do the right thing.

After the american flag is show it cuts to a close up of a pair of feet walking. The american flag is the first image shown. This is very significant as it is representing the american freedom and also even their victory. The idea of freedom and victory makes the audience feel sad, because although the war is over and they were victoreuos, millions of lives were lost. The close up of the feet is to emphasize that this person is old. This is known because the person is walking slowly, they also have a slight limp. The camera tracks upwards revealing that it is an old man. The camera then cuts to his relatives who are walking behind him. They are all shown in one shot and then it cuts back to him on his own. As all his family are seen in one shot it could symbolise how they cant possibly understand the terror that Tom Hank's character experianced earlier in his life. The old woman, who could be his wife is stood further infront of the younger characters. This positioning could show that she experianced the horror of the war but not as bad as her husband did.

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The camera cuts to a mid-shot of the son taking a picture. This is then shown from behind and the viewer sees the old man walking in front and the son taking a picture of the scenery. The younger woman looks across at the son and in their quick eye contact the audience understands that the family are trying to be respectful towards where they are, and she doesnt feel him taking pictures is appropriate. This combined with the memorial music which is still playing creates an atmosphere of loss and upset. The viewer feels like they are walking ...

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