Analysis Of The Movie ' The Thin Red Line '

1314 Words6 Pages
The war film is a classic genre. Today, one has a wide variety of war films from which to choose. But after watching most of them one will find that they are all quite similar. The one thing that all these films have in common, even more so than the rather similar characters, is the way the camera is used to portray life in war and on the front line. This appears to be the most traditional and theatrical approach to portraying this subject, giving the audience what we think they want. Viewers ultimately walk away saying the same thing. “men make war heroic,” and with that in mind these films completely chose to ignore the alternative: that war is not heroic! War is filled with evil and hatred, and it leaves men soulless and disturbed for the remainder of their lives. Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line ( 1998) approaches war from an entirely different angle, literally and figuratively. I will show how visual design speaks to the film’s overall theme that war is not heroic, its unstable, brutal, and an internal battle for the soul of men on and off the battlefield; and, furthermore, I will demonstrate how simple aesthetic choices such as natural lighting, contrast, and color influence the elements of this film that convey this message. The scene on which I want to focus my attention is the ambush scene where the Americans emerge from the fog and bombard the Japanese camp. I found that this particular scene embodied the entire film. Given that there is such minimal
Open Document