The Pianist, Analyse a Character

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Analyse a character In the film THE PIANIST, the director Roman Polanski uses costuming, lighting and camera shots to show the development of the character Szpielman. His decline, from confident, well-off pianist to becoming an animalistic scavenger mirrors the decline in humanity at the time. Through the development of this character we learn that without civility there is nothing that sets apart from animals. The contrast of costuming at the beginning and at the end displays the transformation of Szpielman from man to barbarian. At the start of the film Szpielman is seen playing the piano. He is clean shaven and is wearing a suit. As the war moves forward and the family's situation worsens, Szpielman's brother makes a joke about his “ridiculous tie.” Implying that in their horrible situation, why did Szpielman think he was important enough to wear a tie? His costume contrasts here with the end of the film where he is seen looking primitive with neglected facial hair, ripped clothes and clutching desperately to his can of food. This decline in Szpielman's humanity is effective as it shows what man becomes once everything has been taken from him. Szpielman has lost music, his family, and his right to feel safe. Now he his just another animal trying to survive. Another technique that Polanski uses to show Szpielman's transformation, is the contrast in camera shots. When the movie starts and the Jews' are in little danger, there are many close up camera shots and as the film goes on we are seeing through less and less close up shots and more long shots. The camera zooms in on Szpielman and Dorata's faces in the beginning when they are flirting with eachother. This contrasts with the long shot used to show Szpielman walking alone, in the abandoned, war-torn ghetto.The effect of the close up shots are to show emotion in the faces of characters on screen and

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