The two scenes i will be analyzing from the film The lady, directed by Luc Besson, are both set in Rangoon, Burma and are both related to the rise of democracy supporting parties in a country that is governed by the military.
The first scene i will be analyzing is the assassination of general Aung San, which was set on the 19th of July, 1947. The general is having a meeting with the other members of his party on their fight with the British to gain democracy in Burma. This conference of celebration is soon cut short by three men wearing red scarves around their necks and aiming weapons at the party members before shooting them all. Throughout this scene Luc Besson does an excellent job of using a large number of relevant camera angles and included costume to have a significant effect on how we as the viewers interpret the scenes. One of these visual techniques includes a three shot of the three soldiers in a military uniform walking towards the doors of the general’s conference room. The men walk confidently beside each other as one of the men puts on a red scarf to match his fellow comrades. In this scene the three shot camera angle is effective as we can see their facial expressions and the way they walk which shows how the three men are all confident in their destination of reaching a common goal. The red scarves that the men are wearing are a symbol relating to the dictatorship of the military government. The red is meant to represent the blood of the people. This is also the first time we see the red scarf in the film, which is used by the director to create more of suspenseful mood making the viewer interested in what is going to happen next. The men’s military uniform is old-looking and shows fading signs, this is used to represent how the men are not highly ranked and are under orders from a higher power. The general is also in uniform but has stickers in the shape of a badge which shows his ranks as a general, giving him more of an authoritative power. Unlike the soldiers and the general, the other members of the party who fall victim to the shooting are nicely dressed which shows that they are not soldiers only men of politics.
The Author also does an exceptional job of linking the visual techniques with sound. A good example of this is after the men enter the room. Everything slows down as a slight humming noise emerges alongside the deep voice of the man aiming his pistol at the general’s head. As this is happening there is a glimpse of a flag behind the killer with the union jack and a blue peacock on it. This represents the democratic partnership between the British government and the party that General Aung San represents. The blue peacock in Burma represents peace and is present again in a mid shot facing side on of the three men shooting the other members of the party. In the background the only thing you can see on the wall is an object in the shape of a peacock. At the end of the scene when the soldiers leave, everything becomes quiet and all we can see is the lights swaying from side to side with i faint noise. This indicates the change in atmosphere after the machine guns were fired.
The second scene that i will be analyzing is when Aung San Suu Kyi is confronted by the military at an organised rally, where she is going to talk to the people with her following party “The National League For Democracy”. Through this confrontation she defies the orders to “stop” of the military general who soon raises a gun to her head to intensify his commands but to no avail. The general is then called back moments before the man is about to pull the trigger. In this scene we see many visual effects that support Luc besson’s auteur style and represent his cinema du look. One of the most important camera shots is the wide angle shot at the start of the scene of people putting up the banner that represents her NLFD party. This shot then appears again of the soldiers taking it down as they interrupt the gathering.Before seeing a mid shot of Suu walking through her people to the gathering, the general orders his men to get in line. We then see a mid shot side on to see the number of men raise their weapons and point them at Su and the other members of her party. We see this camera angle again as she walks through the line of soldiers (still aiming their weapons) and approaches the general, who also raises his pistol as she gets closer. As the general counts to three there is a close up of Suu closing her eyes, which is exactly the same camera angle luc besson used when her father was killed. The actions of Suu in this scene help to enforce her cause of wanting a democracy.
The lighting and sounds in this scene are a great example of Luc Bessons Auteur style as he is exceptional at linking together these techniques to emphasis the impact of a strong female character. This scene starts with a bright setting combined with quiet music, giving a happy vibe as people put up the banner for democracy. This is soon interrupted by an abrupt wave of noise that grows closer as the soldiers are getting out of military vehicles. This is followed by slow, dark beat music that is dragged out as Suu and her NFLD members walk through the shaded areas of a back street leading to the soldiers. The clapping of applauding locals soon dies out with the return of more directive shouting. Nonetheless Aung San walks through the line of raised rifles sheltered in rays of yellow light as she moves closer to the man in charge.The lighting in this scene is used as a sign of hope for the Burmese people and her cause. Whereas the sound adds to the anticipation and uncertainty of whats going to happen next. Luc Besson auteur style finds the balance between the two techniques.