Analysis of Saving Private Ryan

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Analysis of ‘Saving Private Ryan’ The first shot in the film of Private Ryan is of his feet. This immediately shows the audience who this film is about and who the main character is and that they are being invited to follow in this mans footsteps as he tells his story, this is shown by the immediate shot of the back of his feet whilst he walks, slowly panning upwards as if we are literally walking behind him. This is effective because the audience becomes aware that this character is important, so important in fact that the audience is set behind him as if deemed less important. Already, the audience is left anticipating who this character is, where he is going and why. As he approaches the entrance to the memorial ground the music is very military and heroic, it’s very empowering and makes you aware that wherever this character is going and whatever he is about to do will be challenging and difficult to endure. The mood of the music then changes and becomes extremely emotive with the use of violins and cellos however still using small segments of military drum noises to highlight the association to war to the story this character has yet to tell. The change in music makes you empathise with the character and without even knowing why he may be emotional, we feel sorry for him. Upon reaching Captain Miller’s gravestone, Private Ryan collapses and here is the first, and only, piece of dialogue used in this section with his son shouting “Dad”. This is effective because we see that not only has this situation affected the main character but we also see the consequential effects of his feelings in the way of his family are worried about the way he is handling the situation and are anxious as to whether or not he will be okay. The transition from present to past is very powerful. Private Ryan is crouching down with his family gathered round him, holding him in

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