Change in Perspective in Mr. and Mrs. Smith Essay

In ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’, the composer, Doug Liman reveals the fact that a change in perspective is a natural part of life and that a change in perspective is inevitable. This can be seen in the scene where Jane is talking to her friend about what Jane must now do after finding that her husband was the shooter in the incident before hand. “You don’t love him? ” “No”…”and you will kill him” “ok”.

This dialogue between the two ladies shows the moment where Jane makes a decision that she doesn’t love her husband and will now attempt to kill him.The technique of a close up on Jane’s face when she states ‘No’ helps the responder agree with her and see her viewpoint. The close up adds emphasis to her comment and shows the level of seriousness she is displaying.

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As the pair converses, there are gaps in between the dialogue. This is critical in this scene to emphasise each sentence, as it is important and the turning point in this film. This technique is useful at this point as it helps the responder reflect on what is being said after each line.The fact that Jane is choosing now to go and kill her husband is a change in perspective that comes naturally, being fueled by the human emotions of anger, revenge and betrayal. In contrast, this point of a change in perspective is a natural part of life and a change of perspective is inevitable is strengthened when we see Jane in a restaurant after she thought she had killed her husband. A close up of her face displays a tear running down her cheek. The technique of symbolism with the tear shows us the love Jane still displayed for her husband John, when she thought she had killed him.

The tear is an important symbol as emotions like sadness are only brought upon in much distress. The responder is shown that there is still love in this ‘ended relationship’ through the tear. It helps the responder feel the sadness that Jane feels which also helps the responder grow with the character. A technique of another close up, revealing a smile when John presents himself shows the love Jane still holds for him.

Love in the form of happiness is displayed when she realises that John is still alive and cannot hold the smile back. This second technique helps the responder again understand the relationship and character.Love is an unexplainable emotion and often has no particular reasons for it so this reinforces that a change in perspective is a natural part of life and inevitable through how Jane cannot control her emotions of sadness and happiness and they take over her naturally. This point is reinforced in the climatic scene. After a long and evenly matched fight and the house being totally wrecked, John and Jane end up with guns pointed at each other’s heads. There is a long pause and moment of silence while each of the couple stare at each other, waiting intensely for one of them to make a move.The silence is broken when John simply says “I can’t do it, if you want it, it’s yours”. This example is showing that John cannot shoot his wife, and soon after we see that Jane cannot shoot either.

John offers Jane the ‘victory’ by saying that if his wife wants to shoot she’s free too. The technique of an eye level shot displays that John cannot shoot and the vulnerability he has put himself in. This can be reflected on marriage on how the man vows to protect and look after his wife. John made the first move by laying down his gun in this situation showing there is something holding him back.The pair soon after succumbs to love, which previously was lacking in the 6-year marriage. The non/diegetic sounds of breathing help add intensity and anticipation.

The composer has cleverly added this into the scene to get the audience on the edge of their seat, waiting eagerly to see what will happen next. From the film Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the composer has revealed that a change in perspective is a natural part of life and that a change in perspective is inevitable through the examples above of love and anger.


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