Devil in a Blue Dress Rhetorical Analysis Novel vs. Film Essay

2428 Words Jun 10th, 2013 10 Pages
Devil in a Blue Dress: Novel vs. Film The hardboiled mystery novel, Devil in a Blue Dress, by Walter Mosley was first published in 1990 and was acknowledged by former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, as one of his many favorite novelists (Easy Writer). Taking place in post-war Los Angeles, the story is narrated by an African American laborer, Easy Rawlins, who is transformed into an L.A. detective after being pulled in to the affairs of local townspeople. The successful novel continued onto screen adaptation in 1995 and was directed by Carl Franklin and starred Denzel Washington, who also financed and produced the film (Easy Writer). From a well-liked hardboiled detective novel to a contemporary film, viewers and readers are restricted from …show more content…
In addition to the differences seen through Easy’s point of view, there are also several differences in how the author and director utilize certain effects to obtain a dark tone. The screen adaptation paid homage to the dark tone perceived in the novel through lighting and a voiceover narration from Easy. Several scenes in the movie appear to have darker lighting than others. This effect allows viewers to feel the mysterious and secretive mood that is intended. In the scene where Easy visits John’s nightclub the lighting in the movie portrays the room as very dark and musty. The room itself is very enclosed and secretive since the owner, John, was into the speakeasy business before Prohibition was repealed. The nightclub itself is for the black community and has a very low-key reputation. To show the secretive, mysterious reputation of the nightclub, Franklin shoots the scene with little to no lighting (Devil in a Blue Dress Movie 1995). Throughout the film the audience is led through Easy’s point of view, which is heard through his voiceover narration. According to a movie review by Edwin Jahiel, “Washington's voice is rather too sweet, lacks the tough staccato…”. Again, we see actors blocking take effect as Washington attempts to live up to his typical role as the “good guy”. The movie takes a much different approach towards Easy’s character, which results in a smooth, legato narration. His short, flowing
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