Tension In The Movie, Phone Booth

1638 words - 7 pages

The film Phone Booth is a morality thriller directed by Joel Schumacher who is also a screenwriter and film producer. The film was scheduled to be released on the 15th November 2002 however, due to the Beltway sniper attacks it was delayed to the 4th April 2003. The key actors of the film are Collin Farrell, who plays Stu Shepard, Kiefer Sutherland, who plays the caller, Forest Whitaker, who plays Captain Ed Ramey, Radha Mitchell, who plays Kelly Shepard and Katie Holmes, who plays Pamela McFadden. The film was written by Larry Cohen. Phone Booth is in ‘real time’ which is very unusual. The whole film is based around a phone booth in which Stu Shepard (Colin Farrell) is trapped in by a sniper. This makes it very hard for the film to build up any tension because it is set in just one location. Moreover, there are a limited number of characters which makes it even harder. Phone Booth is a very low budget film but Larry Cohen bid for Hollywood actors.

The opening of the film uses some very clever media techniques. There is a crash zoom right at the start of film showing a phone call being transmitted up into a satellite in space and then being sent back down to earth to another phone. This emphasizes what happens when a phone call is made and what is going on when a phone call is going on. Furthermore, it is a very interesting way to start a film so it would make the viewer intrigued and they would want to see what is going to happen. The music which is accompanying the opening is non-diegetic, however, when the phone call is sent back to earth, the music then becomes diegetic because there is a gospel choir singing that song on the street. The images introduce the idea of a mad city, where everyone is running around and on the phone. Furthermore, the images displayed are all of people on the phone, so it really does emphasize how many people use phones and how important they are to us. Therefore, New York is represented as a very crowded city with a lot of things happening. Moreover, it seems an extremely loud city with people rushing everywhere and minding their own business.

The main character Stu Shepard (Colin Farrell) is represented as a very arrogant and popular man. He comes across as very cocky and a con-man. Furthermore, when we first see him the camera is looking up on him. This makes him seem very important and big.
The scenes ‘The Caller and Exposed’ start to build tension to the film by using some very clever effects and media techniques. Firstly, the soundtrack helps build a sense of fear by playing eyrie music, this creates tension, plus the music is playing irregularly so tension is building all the time. Moreover, the irregular music creates tension in certain places of the film to emphasise the fear at that particular moment. This means tension is constantly building. Furthermore, the normal sounds that you would hear in a city are muffled and there aren’t many of them so you can stay focused on the phone booth. Moreover,...

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