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1. What is a motif? 3.

What response is perceived by the


In a film or a story, a motif is any recurring element that has audience?
symbolic significance the element is used because it possesses These motifs could elicit a slight sense of
a deeper meaning. confusion towards the reality and, what
They can help us understand the theme the film is portraying, as seems to be, the hopes of characters
well as help contribute the overall atmosphere or mood of the thoughts, as well as the plot of the film. This
film. Motifs also develop a clear understanding of the narrative is seen clearly between Blaine and Lund; the
for the audience, not to mention the characters especially the fact that the film keeps cross-cutting from
protagonist. past to present. Constantly switching can be
seen as mildly disorientating.

5. What could the images be telling us?


The images hold a clear comparison in atmosphere
and mood even in tone of the mise-en-scene. It is
evident that Blaine is not happy, complete (top-left
corner), however, he seems to be a bit more stable,
MOTIFS IN THRILLERS that is whenever Lund is present. Outwardly, the
couple do not show any expression of happiness
between each other, but perhaps internally.

2. What motif is found?


During some of the scenes in which darkness dominates
the mise-en-scene, a spotlight is frequently shined
though the area, creating a contrast of the oppressing
and gloomy setting.
4. What response is perceived by the
What could that connote? What does it
audience? (Continued)
symbolise?
In certain locations, a sort of moving
Breaking through privacy
spotlight frequently protrudes into places of
The discovery of something that has been darkness; the audience may view this, or
concealed throughout the story or is trying to these moments as foreshadowing, as
revealed. perhaps ominous events could occur. E.g.
The role against the antagonist (in this case the light acts as a search warrant like in
Laszlo) WWII (the film is set in 1940s-wartime),
seeking for specific characters. If getting
Another motif found is based on the use of sound; in caught by the light, it could ruin
separate parts of the film, a song is played on the piano hopes/dreams of that character.
(use of diegetic sound). This song is usually played to
help emphasise past events of (what was a failing)
couple Blaine is always reminded of the melody; it
almost haunts him.
Casablanca
(1942)