The following sample essay provides an analysis of Frank Miller’s Sin City. To read the introduction, body, and conclusion of the essay, scroll down.
There are several ways in which one can examine the blueprints of the Frank Miller’s Sin City. One can examine it using literary analysis, communication theories on media, and by looking at it through a personal vantage point. I will attempt to do all three.Before going through the analysis of the film, it is important to note the nature of its content.
Violence is obviously prevalent in the film. Most of the scenes portray physical and sometimes, psychological violence. Violence in the film is not limited to certain instances but is scattered throughout the film. Therefore, it can be said that the film is by nature violent. This is an essential identification because the prevailing element of the film largely affects how it is analyzed.Because the definition of “violent” may differ from person to person, there is a need to define violence as it is used in this paper.
Violence will be defined as the intended infliction of physical pain to any person, whether living or dead.As was mentioned above, the prevailing message of the film is violence.
Violence in itself is bad. However, it may be justified depending on the intentions of the one inflicting it and the circumstances from which it arose. The film tried to justify violence in the sense of it being necessary for survival; if one does not inflict violence on others, then one will not survive in a world that is populated by violent people.
In addition, the film also justifies violence by portraying it as necessary for avenging those who have been victimized by the violence of others. This was obvious in the case of Marv. He resorted to violence because he wanted to avenge Goldie’s death.The question now lies on whether the film’s justifications for violence really justify violence. I think not. Although the film has a plot (in contrast to other plot-less violent films) and the plot is viable enough, it has failed to justify the excessive amount of violent it portrayed. This in itself can be used as a criticism for the film because a movie has to be careful of the messages it portrays to the audience. The portrayal of unjustified violence can lead to negative repercussions.
However, it should be taken into consideration that the film was adapted from a comic book. Aesthetically speaking, the movie’s adaptation of the comic book is commendable. The graphics are amazing and the film quality is stunning. The director really managed to capture the origins of the film by making it have that comic book quality. Despite its stunning graphics, though, the plot seems quite flimsy. It tends to be too dragging at times and as was mentioned above, there is no real justification for the excessive violence involved in it.In addition, following the cultivation theory of mass communication, it can be said that the movie, by its portrayal of massive violence, has the capability to create a “mean world syndrome” amongst those who watch it. This idea propagates a view of the world in which everyone cannot be trusted and therefore the world is dangerous and “mean”. This view is not necessarily false but it feeds people’s paranoia and can cause them to believe that the reality they see in movies is really their reality.
Depending on the amount of exposure they have to the film, their behavior could also be affected such that they too would act in the way the characters in the film act. I know I’m taking it to the extreme with this idea but it is still probable.When Tarantino was interviewed regarding the huge amount of violence contained in their film, he said that this only shows how much they are in touch with the darker side of life. It is true that some of the things portrayed in the film may happen but it is not really the reality of our world. In contrast to the film, perpetrators of explicit violence such as depicted there does not remain unpunished and they definitely do not emerge as winners. In addition, many would argue against their logic to avenge violence by using violence. This only results in a downward cycle of events.Lastly, let us discuss my personal vantage point regarding the film. When I first heard the title of the film, it reminded of me of the video game Vice City where there are missions to be accomplished for the crime lord. Cars are stolen; people are run over and shot under the auspice of a mission. Without the benefit of seeing “Sin City” before, my observation from the scene selections on the screen is this movie would be about sex, drugs, crime, gangs, and much aggression with a “Who Done It” style. I was right. These were the main themes of the film and it was really like the video game Vice City.
One is given license to commit crime with the justification that others are corrupt anyone so they deserve to be murdered, tortured, and what not. As I have already mentioned, this is a problematic ideology.In the end, I would like to focus on Hartigan’s character, which was played by Bruce Willis. Hartigan was dealing with the act of crime against a young girl – Nancy Callahan — age 11 who had been kidnapped. During his search for Nancy, Hartigan was dealing with a life threatening illness of his own and displays somewhat of a defeatist attitude and much aggression toward his partner Bob who is corrupt. Although Hartigan is against all the odds, he continues as if he needs to be a hero.It can be said that Hartigan is the noblest character in the movie because through the end, the stood by his principles and did not give in to the corruption that inflicted the rest of the characters in the movie. It is sad, however, that at the end of his life Hartigan dies a hero only in his mind. No one will really know the risks his took to save Nancy’s life.