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The Use Of Deception In Sunset Boulevard By Billy Wilder

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Deception comes in all sorts of shapes and forms. From flat out lies to subtle bluffs, the act of lying has a profound impact on not only its victims, but its perpetrators as well. In the case of Billy Wilder’s Hollywood classic Sunset Boulevard, nearly all plot points are driven by some type of deceit. Max’s lies drive Norma’s attempts to revamp her career, while Joe’s own fibbing eventually leads to his death. Even Cecil DeMille, Norma’s old director, tricks Norma into believing she is still a desirable presence in Hollywood. Yet, despite the numerous occasions of the film’s characters deceiving each other, the most notable form of deception in the work is that which the film as a whole employs on the audience. During Sunset Boulevard,…show more content…
After this, the shot pans along the road, and turns into a shot of police cars storming down the street. The fact that the street name, which serves as an embodiment of Norma and all associated with her, is so low to the ground emphasizes that the images of grandeur often associated with Hollywood are a facade, and that the true Hollywood is dark and grim, like a dirty street curb. The street pictured is dirty and unkempt, with weeds peeking out the cracks and piles of loose garbage and leaves strewn all over. This image serves as a stark contrast to the typical impressions people have of Hollywood, and reinforces that the true Hollywood is not the one seen so often on the big screen. Rather than opening with a scene showing off Hollywood’s magnificence, Wilder exposes to the audience what the “real” Hollywood is: a degenerate place full of misery and squalor. Moreover, opening scenes tend to set the tone of the movie, and leave lasting impressions the audience that carry through the entirety of watching. By showcasing the dark side of Hollywood before anything else, Wilder asserts that it is this dark, twisted version of the city that truly defines its inhabitants. In addition to pan shots, Wilder also incorporates music in the opening scene, which further adds to the dark image being relayed about Hollywood. The score is borderline cacophony, trademarked by sharp bursts of drums and trumpet that build suspense and
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