In this work, we aim at analyzing the selected Scene below from “The Dark Knight”
This is a very clear image with different elements properly arranged, and the general combination gives a very clear meaning: conflict. The creator of this image has employed all the necessary techniques so as to develop a very clear image with a quite definite meaning. Just at a glance, anybody can tell what this image is all about: a captured man who has gone through pains and torture and is strictly monitored by another individual whose identity remains unrevealed.
A critical analysis of an image involves an active watching or observation of the image (whether moving or still), decoding, it and finally stating the clear meaning in a language that anybody can understand, suggesting the necessary adjustments that are deemed necessary. This is what is done in this essay.
This image can be divided into two different grounds, the foreground and the back ground. In the foreground, the main objects are: two different men, one man is the victim of torture while the other man is the source of the torture. The background of this image indicates a building, as the wall of this building is easily seen. Various elements in these objects, in their combined form, both in the background and foreground, give the meanings indicated above. The analysis of these elements is their respective meanings are done hare-under.
Let us consider the foreground. The first object is the seated man. We can confidently say that this man has undergone a series of torture. This is revealed by the elements which include the blood, his position, his appearance, and his costumes. The blood, which is mainly found on his facial area, around the mouth, clearly reveals that he has gone through serious beatings. This object is seated in a closed room and behind him is a man revealed to be monitoring him. His appearance, especially the look on his face, depicts the sufferings he is going through. He looks weak and quite subjective, without resistance to any action from the oppressor. He desperately needs help. His outfit, compared to that of the man behind him, tells that he is indeed the victim. These costumes reveal that he was actually not prepared for any form of body injury or attack. The theme and mood of this image can clearly be read here.
The second object in the foreground is the man standing. A critical analysis of this man reveals that he is the actual source of the torture. He is the one responsible for the sufferings that the seated man goes through. Within this man, several elements together reveal the aforementioned. These elements include the clothing, the head mask, and his general outlook. Starting with the outfit, a non-disputed role and characteristics of this object are easily seen. The head mask reveals that the identification of this man must remain secrete. The type of body clothes tells the kind of body protection that he actually needs. Here, we can comfortably say that this object is subjected to various forms of activities which necessitate proper body protection. The activities may result in body injuries and that is why a proper body protection is needed. Without any doubt, we can comfortably say that this man is responsible for the torture and oppressions indicated by the first man.
In the background of this frame, there are some other effects that together form the Mise-en-scène. The background wall and the lighting show that this is a closed room. The background helps in bringing realism. The lighting of the room indicates the level of the conflict in this image. We can openly see that the conflict is intensified by the lighting of this closed room. In the foreground the light is more intensified as compared to the background with deem light. The two light variations show that the seated man is facing the source of light, probably the door. The background indicates the plot of the image.
Also there is something like a table in the foreground, where the seated man has stretched his hands. A keen analysis of this seated man reveal that he is facing some object, maybe a panel of interrogators or judges. Combining all the stated elements, objects and their corresponding meanings, one general meaning of this image can be drawn: this image is about a captured man under very tight security and has been seriously tortured by the hostage takers. The captured man faces a team of interrogators who are interested in extracting some vital information from him.
Other than the above discussed features, other styles that have been used in this image include the shot. In this frame, there is an objective point-of-view shot which makes the observers view the image secretly as a third party. The scene is not actually from the character’s perspective but from an observer’s perspective; the viewer. The viewer does not feel as part of the action. The camera angle gives an eye-line match. The image has not been zoomed and this makes it appear as a real image. Reality has been brought by this non-zooming effect. It has also improved the quality of the image as the zoomed objects normally appear blurred. The lighting in this image also creates some other meaning other than the above discussed. It creates the mood and the atmosphere. This image has been created as real and not fiction. This greatly oversimplifies the reality and makes the image more real and believable.