Successful texts show protagonists trying to combat evil

*Some convincing points and accurate observations.

In the film ‘The Lady” directed by Luc Besson, the text shows us the protagonists trying to combat evil. Besson presents to the audience an evil, known as General U-Saw in conflict with General Aung San in the country of Burma in 1947. Later on in the film, we see Aung San Suu Kyi trying to combat evil, known as General Ni Wen through the leadership of her country. All of this is projected through an array of film techniques, such as camera angles, lighting, sound and the set design.

General Aung San for so many years was a beacon of hope for the country of Burma, he was a glimpse of hope that the country would get our of the crippling grasp that communism had on them. Him and his council members had been working for so long on trying to gain independence for Burma, and putting them under a democratic government. The viewer first see the protagonist, General Aung San, walking down a naturally lit hallway, where it looks as though the lights are shining on him, like he has been chosen by God himself. He walks into his chamber council room and is greeted respectfully by everyone hence the audience automatically gains a sense of respect for him. The camera moves to the next soldier: he is wearing grimy clothes, he has greasy hair and the lighting in this scene is gloomy. This shows that Besson is trying to put on view to the audience that this particular man is, “evil,” shown through the gloomy lighting that we see and his unkempt costume. This is a direct contrast to General Aung San, who is wearing light green clothes; he’s clean, and when we saw him he was walking down a lightly coloured, naturally lit hallway, and it portrayed as, “the good guy.” From this, we understand that this is the evil that General Aung San is trying to combat, through his democracy. The cinema du look shown often in Luc Besson’s movies is one of the primary examples that show us that the protagonist is trying to combat evil, where the director favours the story being told in a visual sense rather than verbal. The camera angles that are used to portray who are in power show us the motives of the protagonist. When General Aung San is walking into his council room, with an over the shoulder shot, we see some ancient Burmese spears coming out from in front of him, it appears to be like some sort of crown or throne. This set design shows the viewer who is in power at that particular moment, and that he has been working to combat this evil for a long time. The rebel soldiers burst through the doors, and with a behind the shoulder shot, we see the ancient Burmese spears acting as a crown for the rebel soldiers, who works for General U-Saw, this camera angle foreshadows what is about to come for General Aung San. This shows the shift in power, as General Aung San gets shot point-blank in the head by the communist soldiers. These camera angles show that even though General Aung San had been working towards this goals for most of his life, trying to get rid of the evil in Burma, it can be so easily destroyed by people so evil, such as General U-Saw.

Luc Besson’s auteur style further emphasises that the protagonist is trying to combat evil. Throughout this scene, we recognise a lot of his auteur styles, such as the cinema du look. If the audience analyses the scene deeply enough, you will be able to tell what is happening even if there is no dialogue, which is what happens lots of times during this scene. Having a protagonist who represents a sense of authority in a dysfunctional setting is another auteur style that is presented in this scene that shows throughout this movie, there is always a good vs evil theme going on. Even after General Aung San gets assassinated, his legacy continues to live in Burma, through his daughter, Aung San Suu Kyi who contributes to combat an evil during her time.

Aung San Suu Kyi is one of General Aung San’s 7 daughters, and during her time trying to combat evil for her country, she faces many obstacles on her journey. She is facing the same battle that her father was fighting. The fight for freedom, and to rid Burma of communism. Suu Kyi sets up a democratic party gathering, where she is trying to get people to vote for her party, which supports democracy. A close up of one of her posters show how she has become a beacon of hope for Burma, just like how her father was 40 years before her. She is taking the same steps into government as he did, she is being peaceful and calm, even when they are being violent for no apparent reason. Her party members, all mirror her morales, they are all part of the local community and they work for her out of respect for her work ethics and the goals for her country and people. This shows just how widely her effect has been spread around Burma, how just like her father she has become a beacon of hope. Even when the soldiers are all pointing their guns straight at her face, she remains calm when she is looking death in the eyes, she is channeling her fathers confidence and calmness, she is risking her life to combat the evil of Burma. The viewers in the audience can almost relate this to real life, such as the entitlement to humans rights and freedom. It is the duty of those who are getting their rights violated to put up a fight, and protest when needed. Even though protesting is seen as less effective these days, they serve the important purpose of uniting the people protesting. This film challenges us to fight for what we believe in, and protest if you believe in your rights.

Through these two scenes we see that a successful text shows protagonists trying to combat evil. The two protagonists, General Aung San and Aung San Suu Kyi are both trying to combat the same evil, they are both fighting against communism, but in different times. We see how similar father and daughter are in their way of political and way of thinking, they are both very selfless in their way of thinking. This is shown through Luc Besson’s auteur styles, such as the cinema du look, where we can form our own opinion about what is happening during the scene.


Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Gus, you could include the greater impact that the film (and specifically these scenes) have on the viewer. I.e. How does the film challenge us? How does the film call us to action?
    In addition, technically, you could tighten up this essay. I.e. Look for places where full-stops should be instead of commas. Watch unnecessary repetition of vocab. Consider how you can express your ideas in a succinct and direct manner at times- edit any unnecessary vocabulary.


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