Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Witness For Prosecution

Witness For Prosecution
Director: Billy Wilder

I honestly believed that... his wife did it. Witness for Prosecution is about a man accused of murdering the lovely Ms. French and his only alibi is his wife. When it comes time for court his wife turns the tables and testifies for the prosecuting side.

I really honestly thought she was the murderer. That her plan was to get Leonard Vole (her husband being prosecuted for murder) put in jail so she could return to her homeland of Germany. What a twist when she pulled off her acting veil to reveal how much she loved him.

The dialogues were excellent through out the movie. Particularly the court scenes where Sir Wilfrid skipped around the prosecution as they presented their evidence. I couldn't believe how thrilled I felt as Sir Wilfrid “zinged” the prosecuting lawyer as he kept presenting his evidence. It seemed no matter the amount of evidence Sir Wilfrid found a way to poke a hole in it and create doubt.

The point of comedy through out the movie was Sir Wilfrid and his nurse, Miss Plimsoll. In the beginning scenes where Sir Wilfrid rides his electric chair up and down the stair case contemplating whether to take the case or retire for the afternoon was very funny. Particularly when Miss Plimsoll finally got him upstairs and as she made the bed, he escaped. Miss Plimsoll looks up and quietly says “Sir Wilfrid? … Sir Wilfrid!” The scene cuts and you hear the noise of the electric chair moving and see the back of Sir Wilfrid riding down the stairs. I laughed so much!

The shots through out the movie kept the dialogue moving. Scenes where the characters are staged in a triangle on the screen and zooming in slowly on the character whom is talking. Other shots consisted of staging the characters so they were looking at each other opposite on the screen and cutting from one close up or mid shot to the other. 

I sketched out two thumbnails of compositions that I enjoyed from the movie. The first is from the first half of the movie where Sir Wilfrid is listening to Mr. Vole's story of how he is innocent. Enjoyed the light coming in from the window and casted shadow from Sir Wilfrid on the wall. Another reason I enjoyed that scene was for all the things that could be found around him. His desk, books, a painting, a light, small pictures on the wall, curtain, a couch. I noted this because of a project I worked on where I recreated the hotel room of John Wilkes Booth. It's amazing how many things you can put into an area and how all those things give the room life. The Second scene is when Mr. Vole is walking through the jail. The light and shadows created from the jail bars, fences, and the figures themselves really gives off the feeling of being trapped and ominousness.

Over all the movie was a treat and if you haven't seen it, take the time to watch it. The jokes are in the dialogue so make sure to have your ears open.

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