Dramatic Elements in the Film “Year One” Essay Example

Classical films are often not the only movies in which important shots take place. Many other films, including comedies, incorporate shots that have effects on the manner in which the audience views the movie. The film Year One, directed by Harold Ramis and produced by Judd Apatow, is the perfect representation of cinematic elements used in a comedic way. These elements that the director made have the purpose of causing the viewers to feel different things. In Year One Neanderthal hunter Zed (Jack Black) is exiled for eating forbidden fruit, he and his sardonic friend Oh (Michael Cera) leave their village and begin an epic journey through history. The pals encounter biblical characters such as Cain (David Cross) and Abel, Abraham (Hank Azaria), and others, and wind up in Sodom. Along the way, Zed debunks commonly held beliefs and replaces them with his own delusions of grandeur. The specific scene this essay will evaluate is when Zed decides to eat the forbidden fruit and is forbade from the village and is forced to leave. This essay will analyze the effectiveness of Literary, Dramatic, and Cinematic Elements used by the director in the scene. Cinematography is used in this scene to develop the storyline, establish characters, and show the sense of power characters hold.

Literary Elements within Year One are used in developing storyline of the film. An example of this is the conflict between Zed and Marlak. Viewers notice the tension between Zed and Marlak and can develop their characters. An additional literary example is the symbolism that the forbidden fruit holds that Zed eats. Forbidden fruit is a phrase that originates from the Book of Genesis concerning Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:16–17. In the narrative, Adam and Eve eat the fruit of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, which they had been commanded not to do by God. The fruit that Zed eats holds the same meaning. This is one of many references to the Bible throughout the movie and aids in adding to the storyline because it gives perspective of the underlying message of the film. Theme is yet another literary element that can be found in Year One. The theme within the film is bravery. Viewers see Zed talk to Marlak and his village without fear of what they think of him. He even offers to lead them on an adventure to the new world, a better world. Theme helps develop storyline because it gives layers of complexity to an otherwise simple story, while also unifying many script elements such as plot, characters, and dialogue. Literary elements contribute to the film by telling the story of the film by developing plot, storyline, characters, and setting.

Dramatic Elements within Year One are used in establishing characters. An example of dramatic elements in the film are the costumes worn by the villagers. In this scene, viewers see both cloth and hides the characters are wearing, suggesting that they are a people of an early civilization of a sort. A second example of dramatic elements being used is the expressionistic use of colors. Viewers see this when Zed is running from Marlak after setting the village on fire by accident. After Zed’s perceptible tumble down a hill, he hides under vegetation. The bright green of the leaves he uses to hide in suggest Zed’s immaturity. A further example of dramatic elements is the expressions characters use. During this scene Oh is expressing the intensity of his lust for Ema to Zed. His face goes from a relaxed setting into an expression where his eyes are squinted and his lips are pursed. The unnecessarily extreme skepticality of the facial expression Zed used can help viewers recognize the sense of humor used by Zed as a character.

Cinematic Elements demonstrate a sense of power held by characters. An example that illustrates cinematic elements taking place are camera angles. A low angle is used when Marlak stans over Zed threatening to kill him. The usage of this angle makes Marlak seem strong as well as heavily built which in turn is quite frightening to the character Zed. Another example that illustrates cinematic elements taking place is the lighting. Usage of from below lighting during this scene shows Marlak staring down at Zed. The from below lighting within the scene gives power to Marlak, enabling him to appear intimidating, giving him power over Zed. Movement of shot is another cinematic element in Year One. The movement of shot utilized by the director was a pan right on Marlak running after Zed in the forest. This pan right begins with Zed running relatively slowly through the woods and ends with Marlak running considerably faster than Zed. This differentiation of pan speed during the pan right used demonstrates Marlak's strength and power. Cinematic elements contribute to the film by demonstrating the sense of power held by characters.

As Expressed, the cinematographic aspects used in the film Year One made the scene comical. These elements not only made the film comedic, but built storyline, established characters, and exhibited the sense of power characters held. These shots chosen by the director had a tremendous effect on the way the audience viewed the scene. The result of this scene without these key elements would in turn make it dry. A dry scene would consequently produce an uncomidical film.


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