27 November Analyzing and comparing the mise-en-scene of David O’Russell’s Three Kings to Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan:
One theme common between David O’Russel’s Three Kings and Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan is related to depiction of war. Both movies aim at presenting the most realistic picture of the excruciating horrors of war. War details form the bedrock on which both these movies are based. While Three Kings introduces a thoughtful and thrilling presentation of Gulf War and blends elements of action, drama, and violence in a riveting manner, the other movie is based on the sordid details of World War II presented in an enlightening manner. Both movies are critically acclaimed for their distinguished, realistic, and exciting portrayal of the two historically important combats. The battle scenes pictured using a variety of unorthodox and experimental cinematic techniques were highly praised by top critics not only at the time the movies were released but are still appreciated due to their realism of the fights. Also it is obvious that both movies aim to portray history and toxic waste of the wars in a first class manner as the sequence and details of the two wars as shown in the movies happen to be closely connected to the real historical details.
Mise-en-scene is one of the cinematic techniques among others noted most by the viewers. Both Three Kings and Saving Private Ryan include a collection of good mise-en-scenes quite effective to ground the themes of these movies. The theme of Saving Private Ryan is related to exploring the intensity and severity of WWII and one of the mise-en-scenes in it in which Private Daniel Jackson is shown amidst a battle ready to shot his rifle works quite effectively to support the theme. The expression on Jackson’s face immediately captures the attention of the viewers as it is one strongly indicative of vengeance, severity, and passionate intensity which are also the elements of WWII. Similarly, the dominant and camera proxemics features in the mise-en-scene from Three Kings in which a Republican Guard soldier is shown aiming his rocket launcher work well to strengthen the theme of this movie. The first thing one is drawn to is the soldier’s expression and then how the camera is set extremely close up to his face and weapon as a way of highlighting every little detail on his face and weapon etc.
It is obvious after watching both movies that both Russell and Spielberg intended to present the ugly and toxic details of the Gulf War and WWII in a close connection with the real historical accounts of the two battles. Another worth mentioning point is that both directors made great use of mise-en-scenes among other cinematic techniques to strengthen the respective themes of their movies and this approach collaborate well with the overall masterful presentation of the two wars. Both directors have also clearly paid a great deal of attention to every little detail like lighting, camera setting, and character proxemics in every important scene as a way of capturing the details as realistically as possible. Not only that but the directors also considered it exceedingly important to synchronize the characters’ body language with the themes of their war films.