How does Lean use film form to represent the character of Laura? The character of Laura is a very divided troubled individual, but do we ever stop to think why we make these assumptions about her? The way David Lean uses film form and film technique to show the various sides of the way Laura is feeling is exceptional. In this essay I am going to explore this.
For example in the voice over narration in the opening scene, Laura is on the train sitting opposite someone she hasn’t met before. The voice over narrative here gives us a path into what Laura is thinking, although she is being spoken to by someone she knows, her head is running with thoughts. This here suggests that Laura is troubled. The introspective nature of Laura, a sign of paranoia and anxiety, is expressed here through Lean’s use of a voice over narration. Although this early into the film we are unsure as to why Laura is anxious, we know that there is something external bothering her. This is shown through her lack of interest in her internal surroundings.Order now
Later in the film, once it has been established that Laura is divided between her loyal and committed husband Fred and her new flamboyant passionate lover Alec, Lean invites us into the mind again via the voice over narration. This happends throughout the film, represented just how much of a divided character Laura is. The voice over narrations at home with Fred contrast with the visual imagery of Laura’s passionate affair with Alec. These voice overs tell us that Laura is stuck between passion and repression.
Laura has fallen in love with Alec, a feeling she hasn’t had for a long time, but she is married to an honest man who fathered her two children. Laura is battling between her heart and her mind. The voice over narrations here show Laura’s escape from the edwardian environment she is in. Although she has fallen in love with another man, she knows she cannot leave her children and husband.
Towards the end of the film after Laura has told Alec she cannot see him again. This scene is a continuation of the opening scene, this time we are aware of Laura’s predicament. Laura, again, oblivious to her surrounding, is in a world of her own. Laura gazes out the window watching the scenery fly past in a blur. It is here again that Lean escapes from the realist style of the film to develop more expressionism using the window as a path into Laura’s imagination. Here there is two screens superimposed on top of eachother, contrasting the reality of Laura being on the train home never to see Alec again with the dream of living her life with Alec. This contrast on screen is synonymous with the contrasting struggle in Laura’s mind.