Although there are many ways to present a scene within a movie, one is generally filmed in a specific manner. It provides a detached, sometimes “bird’s eye view” perspective and it’s almost as if only our (or the director’s) sense of sight were present at the scene. Everything seems smooth and pure. Explosions/blasts/shockwaves? Let them ride through… We are just non-physical beings.
Cloverfield’s cinematography, however, is totally opposite. The movie is shaky, noisy, has totally ugly camera angles. And yet in its rawness, it’s great.
Five young New Yorkers throw their friend a going-away party the night that a monster the size of a skyscraper descends upon the city. Told from the point of view of their video camera, the film is a document of their attempt to survive the most surreal, horrifying event of their lives.
From the perspective of a hand held video camera, the movie brings you right within and envelopes you in the destruction of Manhattan city. This kind of presentation probably sets a class of its own and I do not foresee any other movies that can be anywhere close.
My favorite line(s) in the movie:
Rob: “Beth, look at me… I love you.”
Beth: “I love you too.”
It’s kind of sad that he had to wait till seconds before they are dead before he says it for the first time. Yet, I know he didn’t say it for the sake of saying it. He means it.
Unique things about the movie I noticed when I was researching:
- The film was edited to look like it was filmed with one hand-held camera, including jump cuts similar to ones found in home movies.
- Reeves (director) explained that the pedestrians documenting the severed head of the Statue of Liberty with the camera phones was reflective of the contemporary period. “Cloverfield very much speaks to the fear and anxieties of our time, how we live our lives. Constantly documenting things and putting them up on YouTube, sending people videos through e-mail – we felt it was very applicable to the way people feel now,” the director said.
- Apparently, at the end of the movie the film cuts back to Rob & Beth at Coney Island. If one watches that part closely, on the right of the screen one will see what looks like a capsule fall into the ocean – many speculate that the capsule is the monster. Anyone keen to watch Cloverfield with me? I so want to watch it again.