Film today can be very powerful as a means of expression and communication. Often the most diminutive detail can have a tremendous i8mpact on an audience encompassing all ages. These details often come from a range of media devices. They have a profound affect on how the director attempts to express a scene. One of the most recurrent themes since the launch of film has to be the element of ‘Good and Evil.’ A prime example of this is Bram Strokers ‘Dracula.’
The film is based on a book written by Abraham Stoker in the 1800’s. During this time England was fascinated by the Gothic. Darwin had brought up the theory of evolution, giving the idea that man evolved from prime apes. This all built up to eventually influence Bram Stroker to write the amazing ‘Dracula.’ In this essay I will be conducting an analysis on the contrasts between the element of Good and Evil. I will be studying how they are both portrayed in the film.Order now
The opening scenes in films often set the mood for the remainder. The beginning of the film is crucial in impacting the audience enough to make them stay and watch. The introduction to Dracula was very effective. The initial colours used involved shades of misty red and black already establishing the element of death. The mist also allowed scenes to fade into each other building up the aspect of mystery and heightening the audience’s anticipation. The music created a strong horror effect that had a big part to play in setting the atmosphere to how the director required it to be.
The majority of music played in the opening scenes was played with the lower strings (cello, double bass); these instruments are often used to implicate the element of good and evil. The lighting was very dark and dismal which reflects the era ‘Old England’ was going through. Especially in the fight, the figures were black and there was a dark red background which alludes to the thought of blood and death yet again. The turning point in the film was when Dracula returned from battle and found his beloved wife Elizabata lying dead on the step beneath Christ’s cross. In the letter Elizabata wrote there is immense irony in when it states “May our souls be reunited.”
In anger Dracula strikes the bleeding cross it’s symbolic of when Jesus was Bleeding on the cross. The drinking of the blood is as a result of turning to the devil. When the blood trickles down the religious icons it symbolises the extent of hurt Dracula’s giving as he renounces God. In the closing stages of the introduction Dracula lets his full anger out as he realises Elizabata is dammed and she cannot be saved it is Gods law. This forced Dracula into a tremendous roar eventually fading into the film title ‘Dracula.’
In film the scenes following this type of introduction should set the plot and introduce the key characters. In Dracula the next few scenes had a direct contrast in colour to the introduction. This was meant to show how diverse the atmospheres were between the two eras. The first scene was set in a perfect, almost paradise like Garden. This set the Romantic like atmosphere for what the scene was to contain. Mina Murtay (played by Winona Ryder) is a very pessimistic girl who was fond of many things including her fianc onathon Harquer (played by Keanu Reeves) was completely the opposite. He’s very positive in the things he does, but does he sustain that optimism as he’s taken into the hands of Dracula. The contrasts between the paces of the first two scenes create a big impact on the audience showing them the change of Dimensions Jonathon’s bin through.
The first scene of the garden was very relaxed with a major contrast of bright colours. Except it begins to loo comparably different as the camera focuses in on the eye of a peacock’s feather and fades into the high speed train Jonathon’s travelling on to Transylvania. The colours compared to the Garden are very dark and dull, with dark blue mist draining the light of the moon. When their were birds singing in the morning sun there are now wolves howling in the dark of night. This doesn’t perturb Jonathon though as he’s writing his first letter to his darling fiancï¿½e Mina. This was the first of a string of letters Keeping the couples relationship alive, as Jonathon’s about to experience the toughest chapter of his life yet.
The use of voice over in the scenes leading up to the arrival into Dracula’s province creates a bigger understanding between the film and the audience. They help to explain the setting and the plot of a certain phase in the film. They also enhance the atmosphere creating a mood as a substitute or bonus to music. They sometimes help you develop a better understanding of characters or scenes. There were many incidences in the film where voice over had a big affect on the audience. Where it had its biggest impact though was when Jonathon was getting closer to Dracula and the film needed a voice over to enhance the atmosphere, portraying to the audience the severity in which Jonathon was crossing dimensions.