The music seems like the film is set underwater. The slow motion also contributes to the underwater feeling because objects and people cannot travel, as fast underwater, this is how Pip feels and this frustrates the audience. Feet running are depicted by drum beat and the audience gets frustrated as they do not know whose it is. Then a convict’s ‘point of view shot’ is seen while Pip is constantly looking back. The tilt of camera shows Pip running and then falling to the ground. This falling shows that Magwitch has power over Pip.
Pip looks frightened as he trips over fallen branches to the ground. Immediately after this, we can only see Magwitch’s legs; this causes suspense and worries the audience. We can also just see the chains, as the close up shot makes them exceptionally noticeable. When we are watching the convict’s legs we cannot see what Pip is doing and this makes us want to move the camera to see what Pip doing; it causes frustration and anxiety for the person who is watching the film. Because of the chains that are on his legs, we now realise that the thing or person chasing Pip was a criminal convict.
The convict is gaining up to Pip very rapidly, as he has fallen in between two graves. When Pip does see Magwitch the establishing, close-up shot, of Magwitch’s face looking down on Pip shows his power. It shows the amount of power Magwitch has over Pip, and from the hoarse scream, which comes from Pip’s mouth, we can tell that the convict is intimidating. There is a close up of Magwitch’s face. Magwitch is made out to look evil, frightening and aggressive and we can then understand Pip’s fear. Pip shouts out, “MUUUUUMMMMMMMMMYYYYYY.
” It is at this point when the screen cuts to birds and the sound that their flying makes. The viewers cannot see what is happening to Pip. These birds cause suspense as we are just being shown a small part of the scenery, but we know that this is happening simultaneously to whatever the convict is doing to harm Pip. The audience is left to feel helpless. The geese are flying very fast and seemed to have a startled panic, this could be to show how scared Pip is or the birds could have been shown like this as if they are hurrying to get home before sunset.
The sun is setting. From this one shot we are told much about the setting because we can tell it is now late evening and also a lot of suspense is created. The shot of the birds is then faded and the scene blends into the next, which is back to the bleak marshland with the titles and Pip going home. The titles in this film are used to create suspense. After the break with the birds we do not know what has happened to Pip and we just see the vast marshland with nothing else. The isolation of Pip is tormenting because anything could have happened to him.
The audience desperately wants to find out what has happened to Pip. What had happened to Pip was told in a dream later on. This version of Great Expectations did not follow the novel that well. The BBC director did not portray much sympathy for Pip. He does not state that all of Pip’s five brothers and parents are dead. In fact the viewer would not know this unless he had read the book. The director has edited parts of the text, which the book originally stated and made it shorter, in fact there is very little speaking, except Pip crying out “Mummy!
” This is the only thing, which reveals that Pip might be hiding between his parent’s graves. This beginning relies mostly on action and less dialogue, which is different in comparison to the older version. It uses technology such as sound effects (SFX). In this version, when Pip goes to sleep, he dreams about what happened at the graveyard. What happened was Magwitch again threatens Pip by holding him upside down, just like the Lean version. There is a close-up/two-shot, just like the Lean version. Also, they both use low angle shots to show the vulnerability of Pip.
Magwitch had an angry face. In the whole opening part, slow sound is being played. It is the music that tells a viewer that another is watching the person on the screen. We get scared when we know that there is someone watching, when the character has no idea that he is there We see an over-the-shoulder shot when Magwitch is with Pip. This shows that Pip is the object. He does not have the same conversation in the graveyard with Pip as the book does. There are quite a few differences and a few similarities between the BBC film and the book.
The director does not focus on Magwitch much during this opening scene. This is just like the David Lean version. Magwitch is shown in Pip’s dream, not in the real world. In the book the Magwitch incident happens in first person. Again, like Lean’s version, the BBC version does not create as much sympathy for Magwitch. I think the actors in the Lean version were reasonable, with Pip over-exaggerating when Magwitch came over to him. In the BBC version, all the characters played their part very well, especially Pip, because he showed much fear but did not over-exaggerate.
Pip looks neat and tidy like in the David Lean version and is like his character, innocent. In the BBC version as well as the Lean version, Magwitch is shown to be incredibly daunting and intimidating. In the BBC version, the close-up shot is used to show what he is thinking and we can see anger in his eyes. Although no dialogue is spoken we can see from his fixed stare on Pip and his angry scowl that he intends to do harm to him, otherwise he would have had no other reason to chase him.
Magwitch is dressed in old clothes and looks like he hasn’t had a shave or a haircut in months and this adds to the reasoning that he is an escaped convict. In conclusion, I think that Lean and the BBC director of this film have both combined camera angles and shots with use of sound effects and light to create an effective atmosphere of suspense and fear in this opening sequence. I think that the David Lean version is more true to the book because it is in first person and it has narration. The BBC version does not follow in chronological order as we only saw what happened in a dream of Pip.
However, this does create a great deal of fear and tension because we can work out that Pip must be traumatised and could not stop thinking about it incident with Magwitch. In the Lean version, some of the techniques used, such as the point-of-view shot of the knot in the tree, are very innovative and, probably, quite unusual for such an old film. A modern audience, particularly a younger one, might not be so moved by this film, as nowadays we are constantly being bombarded with special effects and computer graphics, but an audience in that time would certainly have been captivated from the moment the film began.
The BBC version is more for a modern audience. This is because it is in colour, and not too many people like black/white films if they have the option of colour. Also, they are spoiled with digital effects, and state of the art technology helps any to give it that extra enhancement. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Great Expectations section. Download this essay Print Save Not the one? Search for your