Memento Mise En Scene Analysis

Decent Essays
Nolan uses mise en scene to further develop the audience’s understanding and view of the protagonist, Shelby and his psychological struggles in the opening scene of Memento. Followed by the non-linear editing, Nolan uses low key lighting to create a dark and dangerous atmosphere, which shows Shelby as being vulnerable and in danger. However, the dim lighting suggests that Shelby is a murderous man as he is holding the gun. This helps build tension felt by the audience by making them want to understand who Shelby is and to learn why he has killed a man. At the start of the film, the audience does not know his motive and become intrigued as they want to solve the mystery as to why Shelby has committed murder. To further emphasise this, the setting is an empty, isolated room that is low-key lit. this is immensely ominous as all the features carries connotations of death. Shelby is wearing a suit, which suggests that the film is set in modern society. As it is set in the modern society, it accentuates to sense of danger and the ominous feel to the audience as it is seen as illegal and beyond convention to murder. The sense of danger is elevated by the fact that the scene is directly after Shelby has committed murder. It shows Shelby’s unperturbed facial expression and a scratch on his cheek. The cut illustrates that he has endured some physical altercation with his victim. Shelby’s facial expression is rather confusing and rather concerning as he seems emotionless after a
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