Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jurassic Park

I’m not going to talk about Benjamin now because Jurassic Park is awesome in its own right and deserves its own post. Where to start? The seamless weaving of action sequences and chaos theory, the unity between sound, image, and message, “objects in mirror are closer than they appear”? I think I will concentrate on the scene in which Muldoon hunts the raptor. Over the course of the film, Muldoon has been one of the more cautious characters, repeatedly saying that the animals are smart and unpredictable and that they will never be safe. Nonetheless, in this sequence, Muldoon hunts the raptor, presumably thinking he can kill her. However, just as he is preparing to shoot, a raptor he had not seen comes at him from the side and eats him following Muldoon’s final words: “Clever girl.” This scene exemplifies the film’s use of organic unity and shows how the film combines many formal and thematic elements to produce the greatest effect in its audience. Because we know that Muldoon respects the raptors greatly from his previous comments on their intelligence and lethal power, we would expect him not to underestimate their abilities. However, when the raptors defeat him anyway by outsmarting him, the film emphasizes its main idea that no matter what, nature will “find a way” to remain unpredictable, and there is no safe way to deal with the dinosaurs because of this unpredictability. Though we know this by this point in the film, we still feel suspense as Muldoon hunts the raptor because we know that the animals are intelligent, and as he says, they are hunting him too. The suspense keeps the audience very involved in the film emotionally which keeps them interested and helps get the point across that these animals should not be messed with. Furthermore, the fact that the raptor attacks from the side while distracting from the front shows how well thought-out the plot is because it refers to Grant’s attempt to scare the kid at the dig, showing that no line or action in the film is wasted, everything is connected, which further supports chaos theory. Formally, the scene is effective because it is cross-cut with Sattler’s own encounter with a raptor which adds to the foreboding mood of the scene, helping to increase suspense. It is also effective that everything is quiet and all movements are slow, building suspense that we know will culminate in some confrontation. Once the raptor has jumped out of the bushes, it stops before attacking Muldoon, giving him time to say, “Clever girl,” before it eats him, showing us that even in the face of death, he respects the raptors’ intelligence and emphasizing that they will find a way to overcome all opposition, further supporting the idea that “life finds a way,” and there are no controlled environments. In all, this scene sums up the main ideas of the film while still maintaining suspense and showing the film’s unity.

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