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Critical Analysis Of The Film "The Shining"

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The movie or film that I chose to analyze is The Shining, which is a 1980 psychologically, subjective and mindboggling horror drama film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. It is based on Stephen King’s 1997 novel The Shining. The film, the shining, is acted out by such stars as Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers, and Danny Lloyd. From my first, most basic analysis of the film, I noticed most specifically that The Shining seemed to repeatedly utilize color palettes, interesting camera angles and shots, as well as eerie music, and creepily calm voices all together to give off an eerie vibe and let you know that something horrible was about to happen right up until the end. More specifically, The Shining regularly uses strange and captivating camera angles that give off a spine-chilling impression. On top of this, one other observation that I had was the prevalent use of colors in a metaphorical and mindboggling sense, for example how they used the color red to represent blood and the fact and techniques they used to get their point across using this approach.

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To summarize the film, it begins with the main characters, especially Jack Torrance, who is an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who ends up accepting a position as the offseason caretaker of an isolated and deserted, historic hotel, the Overlook Hotel, which is located in a very secluded part of the Colorado Rockies. Along with him, he brought his wife Wendy Torrance and this young son, Danny Torrance. Along the way, after a fair amount of interesting encounters and strange behaviors, Danny finds out that he possesses what is referred to as “the shining,” which is a set of psychic abilities that facilitate his ability to be able to see into and understand the hotel’s abominable, appalling, and just straight-up hair-raisingly, disconcerting past. What the characters aren’t aware of is the fact that a past winter caretaker actually went insane and murdered his family and then himself in cold blood in the hotel. Apparently, this lapse of sanity is contagious, as Jack also runs into issues with his own sanity as a storm leaves them all boarded up within the hotel. The supernatural forces causing this appear to come alive, and with the addition of these forces and Jack’s lack of sanity, the lives of all the Torrances are at risk, risking the lives of all those left in the hotel.

This film stands out to me in a variety of ways: commitment level from directors and producers, camera angles, use of colors, and the use of musical numbers and audio. From what I could see as far as effects, imagery, and visual effects the directors, producers, and actors and actresses pledged a significant amount of engagement and commitment to this film as a project. From the final take of the film and the images and final movie that I, as an everyday consumer as well as the rest of the class and most of our friends and family, see, these people put their all into this project and spared no expense as far as effects and much, much more. As far as camera angles and frame composition, those in charge of the camera and those decisions really focused on making interesting, compelling, and at times thought-provoking decisions as far as how to frame the images. For example, one particular image that comes to mind is Jack, in the midst of a lapse of sanity, peeking his head through the door looking towards the right with a particularly delirious and crazed look within his eyes. I particularly like how they framed his head within the door and I especially enjoy just how much of Jack they are showing in this image. They only give enough to explain what they need to be explained, not any less and not anymore. 

10 Jun 2021

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