Type of paper: Movie Review

Topic: Cinema, Film, Lighting, Hitchcock, Real Estate, Relationships, Audience, Room

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/12/17

Rear Window was released in 1954 and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. . The film revolves around a professional photographer L.B. "Jeff" Jefferies (James Stewart), who broke his leg and confined to a wheelchair. As days go by, he only overlooks the peculiar set of characters that inhabit his apartment complex due to his wheelchair issues. One day, he feels that a murder has taken place in the building across from his building. His observation becomes an obsession as he sets out to prove that the murder took place. Rear Window is a delight as it one of Hitchcock’s most interesting films. It is a study on how human curiosity and voyeurism are intertwined with obsession. As the lead character is confined to a fixed location, he has no choice but to overlook his surroundings. While Voyeurism is the main theme of the film, it is actually used to explain the relationship between Jeff and Lisa. Hitchcock achieves this interesting dynamic by showcasing it in the form of lighting, voyeurism and set design.
Lighting is an important part in making the film work. Take the scene where Jeff’s girlfriend, Lisa, is first introduced. The scene is set in the dark and from the shadows Lisa (Grace Kelly) appears from the shadows and comes in for a kiss. As Jeff lies in his wheelchair, there is a shadow hitting the left side of his face. Fill Lighting is creating those shadows on his face to imitate a sense of danger. But as Lisa is introduced, she is shot in high key lighting. For most of the film, Lisa is shot in high lighting. There are several reasons for this. Lisa comes from upper class wealthy family. The clothes she wears coupled with the high lighting marks the stark difference between her and Jeff. On the other hand, Jeff is consistently shot in low key lighting to address his current disabled state and his unwillingness to settle down. This is a recurring romantic sub plot that occurs throughout the film which Lisa is trying to get Jeff to do the right thing and marry her. Another scene where lighting plays a key role is in one of the last scenes of the film. The man from across the street is aware that Jeff knows that he killed his wife. As he breaks into his apartment, Jeff turns off the light and the man enters the room. The audience only sees both men in shadows. As the man advances towards Jeff, The lighting changes to fill light so that audience can see Jeff going for his flash bulbs to blind the assailant. As the flash goes off, a high fill light fills the room as the man is blinded. A point of view shot occurs as a chrome red filter is used in the scene to showcase the blindness that occurs. As the man comes in closer and begins to tackle Jeff, the lighting turns to low key lighting. These kinds of scenes are examples of how the film uses lighting to great effect.
Cinematography is another highlight the film to push its themes forward. For instance, take the idea of the ‘Male Gaze.’ This is in keeping with the theme of voyeurism. During the course of the film, Jeff uses his long range telephoto lens to pry into the lives of his neighbors. As Jeff peeps on his neighbors, the director uses a keyhole shot to mirror the view of the telephoto lens. This infers that Jeff is like a ‘peeping tom’ going to the circus to gaze on a woman undressing in the dressing room. A prime example of that is when Jeff looks into the room of the voluptuous Ms. Torso who is undressing and taking off her bra. A voyeur is a passive observer. Their aim is to be trapped in the fantasy land. It is only when Lisa’s life is in danger that Jeff is shaken out of the fantasy.
Set design coupled with camera angles plays an important role in the film. It doesn’t necessarily push the theme of voyeurism as it does the relationship of Jeff and Stella. For instance, take the scene between Jeff and Lisa as they have wine together. This is the first time that audience sees Stella. Lisa discusses her day but Jeff is barely paying attention to the conversation. In the scene, he just drinks his wine and has a bemused smile. The shot is framed where the audience sees Miss. Torso lies in between Jeff and Stella. She symbolizes the repressed sexuality that Jeff is experiencing due to him being in a wheelchair. In another part of the same, Lisa is trying to get Jeff to settle down and marry her. In between the two, the window with the newly-weds is framed. This is to symbolize the concept of marriage that Lisa is seeking. As Jeff dismisses, the camera cuts across to a shot of Miss Lonelyheart who is having dinner alone. Jeff tips her wine glass towards her character. Hitchcock displays the sense of irony as Jeff can’t seem to see that there is a beautiful loving woman right in front of him. It even infers that his future may end up like Miss. Lonelyheart if he doesn’t mend his ways. Another shot within the same scene cuts to the musician playing the piano in his apartment. The camera then cuts back to Lisa who has a look of despair on her face. The scene symbolizes that Lisa will move on if Jeff can’t take himself away from his work as a photographer.
While the film is a murder mystery, Hitchcock uses the film to display the relationship between Jeff and Lisa. In the beginning of the film, there are at different ends of the emotional spectrum. But as the film progresses, they are drawn closer as Lisa puts her life on the line to help Jeff solve the mystery. The film was a testament to the resilience of their relationship.

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WePapers. (2020, December, 17) Rear Window Movie Review Examples. Retrieved April 18, 2024, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/rear-window-movie-review-examples/
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"Rear Window Movie Review Examples." WePapers, Dec 17, 2020. Accessed April 18, 2024. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/rear-window-movie-review-examples/
WePapers. 2020. "Rear Window Movie Review Examples." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved April 18, 2024. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/rear-window-movie-review-examples/).
"Rear Window Movie Review Examples," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 17-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/rear-window-movie-review-examples/. [Accessed: 18-Apr-2024].
Rear Window Movie Review Examples. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/rear-window-movie-review-examples/. Published Dec 17, 2020. Accessed April 18, 2024.
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