The film, Seabiscuit, is a remarkable true story, told during the tragic times of the Great Depression.
To escape their miserable lives, some low-spirited people diverted their attention towards horse racing, to find a passion again. Two of the main characters is Johnny “Red” Pollard, an angry, troublesome man that faces the challenges of eating disorders, attempting to make the jockey weight limit, as well as Seabiscuit, the small, destructive horse, who was perceived as absolute disgrace, foolish and a mockery to the horse racing community. In the movie, incredible cinematography is used to unfold the beautiful story of the connection between Red and Seabiscuit. Although accusations were thrown at the compact Seabiscuit and large jockey, they raced against all odds and lifted hope of the people during a daunting era.
A scene in the film that introduces the true sides of the main characters, was when Red and Seabiscuit are in the training yards, both displaying violent behavior towards innocent people when bothered. The cinematography easily showed the how similar they are emotionally, although being remarkably diverse physically. During this scene, it describes the undeniable connection between the two of them, how they were meant to be a pair, it presented how their own traumatic childhoods are the roots of the destructive behaviour that they had caused. Clearly interpreted by the cinematography, it communicated that the two characters needed each other in order to heal.
In this scene, multiple film techniques are used, camera angles, camera movements, lighting effects, and sound. The main obvious camera angles used are long shots, eye level shot, low angle shot and closeup shots, these camera shots play a huge part in understanding facial expressions, behavior/body language of the characters, as well as seeing what is happening in the background of the focus subject. The camera movement technique was quick, separating fast between other camera angles, showing there were multiple things happening at once, but also indicating that it was confusing for both the horse and the people. Although less noticeable in a busy atmosphere, lighting is used to show the time of day and used cleverly to attract the eye, by using shadows, to the focus on the subject rather than far background details in some particular. The main sounds were Seabiscuit neighing, grunting and stomping his feet, in addition to the sounds of people attempting to calm him and hold him down. Red’s voice was also briefly heard yelling at his peers while throwing punches, until the soft subtle music is played as a background noise, distracting the focus onto the trainer’s thoughts while seeing the strikingly clear connection between Seabiscuit and Red.
This chosen scene is crucial for the plot because it shows why they were chosen to be a pair together for horse racing. When Red and Seabiscuit are training individually in the yards, it separately shows the similarity between them, the reason they are perfect pairs for racing. It also shows later in the film how much they improved and grown from that point in time onwards. To portray emotions and to give depth to this scene, cinematography is used in a unique, captivating way. Carefully chosen camera angles, camera effects, lighting, and sound are included. Cinematography wasn’t only necessary, during the film, but also enjoyable to watch. It successfully draws the audience into the story, making it feel as if they are there watching it unfold in front of their own eyes.
To conclude, the film as a whole was remarkable filled with plenty of visually appealing cinematography and fascinating scenes by using a variety of camera angles, camera movements, lighting effects and sounds. Watching a beautiful friendship grow from rock bottom, from the scene of violent training yards to being passionate, hard workers and resilient during their struggles, is what makes the film so entertaining. There was little to no faith in him as a racehorse since he was trained intentionally to lose races. Despite being defeated in countless races during training, Seabiscuit and Red were determined to win against all criticism. The odd combination of a small horse and oversized jockey stunned everyone and lifted their hopes for a better future during such a disconcerting time.
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