The Pianist Analysis

Decent Essays
How does Polanski convey the differences between privilege and oppression throughout The Pianist?
The Pianist (2002) is a true story, based in 1944, about a Jewish pianist named Wladyslaw Szpilman. At the beginning of the film, the German Army had just taken control of Poland, and the film follows Wladyslaw’s journey as the Germans swiftly strip the Jews of their rights, relocate them to a ghetto, and dehumanize their entire community.
Throughout the course of The Pianist the filmmaker, Roman Polanski, visualizes the differences between the Privileged and the oppressed in Warsaw during World War II using a variety of cinematic techniques such as lighting and focus, and narrative elements such as Juxtaposition and character development.
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In scenes where Wladyslaw is playing the piano, the tone of the music that he plays is used to express, to the audience, the emotions that Wladyslaw was feeling. The tone of these musical pieces varied a lot throughout the film. When Wladyslaw was in his position working at the radio station he was seen as an equal to all of his co-workers and peers. These were the scenes where his music was light, playful, and cheery. As the Germans begin to oppress the Jewish community his music becomes more solemn, finally reaching the point when he plays for the German officer, when he has reached emotional rock bottom, and he’s under the impression that he was about to be killed. The general backing tracks in different locations were also powerful in stating the general mood of an area. In the more privileged areas, there is light and civilized music and chatter. The rhythm indicates that people are going about their normal day to day business. In the ghetto the noise is musky. The streets are loud, but the people are quiet, and the general track is dark. This pictures a damp, dirty area in which people are sick, their spirits are low, and there’s little hope. This contrast between the privileged and the oppressed was usually indicated by a change in tempo, pitch, and tone. The varying use of lighting in The Pianist contrasts the quality of life between the
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