Movie Review: Elephant

My timing was all off when deciding to watch this. It’s one year since Sandy Hook and finals are tomorrow. I found this on YouTube and decided to watch this while doing schoolwork. Big mistake.

Different lives are examined as a school shooting takes place.

The tracking shots are more terrifying here than in The Shining. The constant use of them as well as having each shot overlap with other actors shows how events are perceived by each character.

The characters themselves are not too memorable. Seeing as how the film takes place over a short period of time before and during the shooting, there is not much time to sympathize with any of them. Sure, they each have their own personal struggles but that pales in comparison to the resolution.

The use of sound is mostly diegetic, save for the credits. Without the typical musical cues to tell us how to feel, we are left to experience the looming terror as we know how the film will end. Each shot that is fired sounds amplified because it goes beyond the usual hearing range that the movie has presented so far. Each shot is also more powerful because, in real life, there is no soundtrack to carry out the motion.

For a recent addition to the 1001, I can’t see why this wasn’t included earlier. Though, seeing as how it was introduced in the most recent edition of the list and what has happened in 2012, it’s understandable.

I have no idea when you should watch it. Preferably, try not to plan around an anniversary of the sort. Be prepared for emotional pain.

8/10

1001 MYMSBYD selection

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