Oscar nomination To: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The film Jurassic Park has a very captivating plot with a very controversial and strong theme of “science versus ethics” and is a very strong candidate for an Academy Award and could be nominated for the best film of the year.
Jurassic Park is a very deep film, which touches on the morality of scientific discoveries and experiments. It has a really strong theme and message. Jurassic Park is a fantastic film, not just for its thrills and visual effects, but for a plot that is meaningful and entertaining. The main theme, Science versus ethics, is very polemic and not very discussed and touched by the media, making the film even more interesting and captivating. The film does not only entertain the audience but it also makes the viewers think and analyse the ethics behind such a science experiment and discovery. Furthermore the film does not only discuss its theme and makes you think, it also sends a message across successfully: the consequences of the desire of exerting control over nature.
As a thriller Steven Spielberg successfully creates suspense making the viewer entertained and thrilled. To create the excruciating suspense required for the plot, Steven Spielberg has used more than just the plot itself but also used effects such as sound, different type of shots and angles, colours and light, which all contributed to build up the tension of the movie. Steven Spielberg has shown in earlier movies directed by him, such as “Jaws” that he is more than capable of creating suspense and tension in his movies, and with Jurassic Park he proved once again that when it comes to effects he is one step ahead of everyone. The dinosaur, just like the setting, is very realistic, full of details and information, making the movie real and interesting. Even more than a decade later the visual effects remain solidly effective. The sounds used in the film helped to create a suspenseful and adventurous mood across the entire film, making it exiting and not even for a second tedious.
The use of light and colours in the movie helps to develop the suspense and mystery already created. In many scenes the light is placed behind the animal or person, creating a silhouette and that creates a mysterious mood, because you can see the person or animal but not clearly. The colours help to create a more realistic scenario, earthy colours such as browns and greens are used often during the film. They also help to expand the mystery of the film as the colours do not give away much information and create an unknown mood of suspense. More over when the director wants the viewer to focus on a specific thing or wants to direct your attention to something he uses bright colours. For example the cars become a focal point and stand out from the setting because of the use of bright colours. The colour of the cars contrasts with the field, making the cars more noticeable. Green is the main colour as it is related to nature. Very often the director uses red details in the scenes, symbolizing danger, small things such as a scarf that the female main character wears in the beginning of the film or details in the car, creating a mood of danger to the viewers.
Moreover, Steven Spielberg also uses different types of shots and camera angles to create the suspense in the film. The shot types and angles, differ from the effects, colours, lights and sounds isn’t something that the viewers would pick up on from the first time they watch the movie. Only when one stops to analyse it, does the subconscious pick things up, and without us even noticing it the angles of the camera builds and direct the viewer’s mood. Steven Spielberg incorporates all types of shots and very successfully creates extremely suspenseful mood in the film. An example of a long shot is when they show the dinosaurs for the first time. The camera shows the setting from far, positioning the characters close to the dinosaur, accentuating and visually stating the size difference between them. The-close up shots and extreme close up shots are used to show details, such as details in the dinosaurs, like its eyes, legs (showing its movement and creating tension), its mouth (creating a fearful mood). The close up shots are also used to create dynamics, for example when the camera zooms in to the big foot print of the Tyrannosaur on the ground full of water and in the water the reflection of the head of one of the characters, again comparing the size of a human to the size of the dinosaur.
The use of angles is added to the shots to help to create mood. In Jurassic Park for example, the low angle is often used when shooting a dinosaur. This angle helps to make the dinosaur appear bigger and consequently creating a fearful and scary mood. The eye level from the kids point of view is also used many times throughout the film, making the viewer feel smaller and vulnerable compared with the situation and the dinosaurs, creating a mood of fear and generating suspense. The over the shoulder shots are used to give the viewer the sensation of been present there and been part of the film, making the film even more captivating and entertaining.
Steven Spielberg, just like in his previous movies, allows the unknown to build tension and mystery. The movie starts off with an attack, but the trick is, the viewer does not see what has made the, they just know its happening. That builds up tension and curiosity for the viewers. Later on in the film, just before the exposure of the dinosaurs, the main characters are in a car, the woman is wearing a red scarf, symbolizing danger. The guy has seen something and is looking very surprised- the woman hasn’t seen it yet and neither have the viewers. The man gently turns the woman’s head so she can see what he is seeing. The camera focus on the surprised faces but does not reveal what they have seen to the viewer, this builds up tremendous curiosity for the viewers. Then finally, after building up mystery and curiosity, the camera reveal to the viewers what was the cause of the surprise.
Another strong element of the film is its characters and the actors who portray them. The characters might not be profoundly deep but their personalities are fully realized thanks not only to the writing, but to the actors who portray them. Joining Goldblum are Sam O’Neill as Dr. Alan Grant, Laura Dern as Dr. Ellie Sattler, and Richard Attenborough as park creator John Hammond. Even minor characters are populated with strong actors, including Samuel L. Jackson as a computer guru and Wayne Knight as the villain Newman.
No film review or nomination could describe the creativity and effort put in Jurassic Park. The suspense and excitement of the film can only be seen by watching the film. Steven Spielberg successfully put all the elements that makes a good movie together effectively, and the result is a master piece. Steven Spielberg besides making the viewer question the film’s message of ethics and science also makes the viewer question: how did he do it ? He brought the dream to life and made the film unbelievably real and taking ordinary humans closer to an imaginary world were dinosaurs exist. Even though Jurassic Park isn’t a kids movie, it evokes a childlike sense of wonder. However, besides the magical part of the movie linking the viewer with their childhood, Jurassic Park is a serious movie, with a strong message. So for me Jurassic park deserves to be the Movie of the year