The Bourne Identity

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By Doha Al-hashimi

Text of The Bourne Identity

The Bourne Identity:The Bourne Identity is a spy fiction thriller directed by Doug Liman. Its narrative is focussed on one male character that is seen as the protagonist who is picked up by a fishing boat and is found with bullets in his back. From this it seems as if he has lost his memory and tries to gather as many clues to recover from amnesia. The protagonist is called Jason Bourne. This film contains many conventions which are commonly used throughout other thriller films such as mistaken identity and amnesia. The opening of the film shows a close up of a very dark, gloomy sky with flashes of lightning, giving the audience a sense of tension. Its followed by a long shot exposing more of the surroundings and the location of this opening scene. It can be seen that the focus is all on one boat which is currently in the middle of this stormy weather. The camera cuts quickly to a mid shot at a high angle which is tilted presenting men sitting at a table playing cards. Even inside this boat the low key lighting contrasts to the weather outside as the lighting is very dark and creates enigma. Furthermore these men force the viewer to start questioning who they are and where they are from. This is because diagetic sound is used to project their language and display them as unimportant figures in this film as the language they are speaking is hard to recognise placing the audience in a confused position. These are elements that combine in a build up of suspense as they create confusion to the audience.

There is an extreme long shot displaying the effect the stormy weather has created to the sea. At a far distance a body floating in the middle of the sea can be seen. Here the narrative presents ordinary situations in which extraordinary things happen. This creates suspense and enigma because at this point the audience start questioning why a body is floating at sea and how it got there. Following on a birds eye view angle is used to show the passengers on board lifting the body out of the sea. At this point diagetic sound is used to represent the language the men are speaking and subtitles are presented below to help the audience engage with this mysterious finding.

The weather perfectly matches the mood of the film as the aura possesses a very negative and uncomfortable vibe due to the fact that we see a man being operated. This particular scene puts the viewer in an uncomfortable scene because its clearly not a medically safe operation and it seems as if the male is experimenting on a human being. This is probably intentional from the director as it helps us as the audience engage giving us mixed emotions making us uncomfortable. An extreme close up is used to display from what seems to be a doctor cleaning a knife. Following on he starts to take out the bullets that are inside the mans body, at this point the angle tilts up creating suspense because as a viewer you start asking what hes doing and why he is helping him? There are slow transitions between shots adding to the suspense created because it contrasts with the music that is playing in the background as non- diagetic sound. As the music becomes faster during the moments of the bullet being taken out, the movement of the shots becomes slower making the viewer feel tense.

In this thriller film the theme of identity is presented as the protagonist is seen to suffer from amnesia as he wakes up from a serious accident. The lighting is very dark making it harder for the viewer to see the protagonist and also creates suspense. The place he is in at the moment gives off a very cold and old sense as industrial materials are being used. As the injured man wakes up the doctor helping him returns to the room finding the man removed from the table he was placed on. This creates tension and enigma as the audience dont know when to expect him to pop out suddenly. A mid shot is used to show the man jumping from behind the doctor and screaming asking him what he is doing to him. Here the protagonist is seen putting another character in peril through an over the shoulder shot. Following on the protagonist starts questioning him on why he is here and how he got inured. The doctor reassures him and tells him that he is only trying to help and asks him what his name is. Diagetic sound is used to hint to the audience that the protagonist has amnesia that was caused by the accident he was in previously. He replies to the doctor by saying I dont know what my name is and what happened to me. This helps the audience gain more information about his identity and the position his injuries have caused him to be placed in.