Similarly, the film indicts the American presence during the war in Vietnam, which is seen by its critics as yet another version of western imperialism.
A Comparison of Western Imperialism in Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now
Like in Heart of Darkness, as the characters travel up the river and journey further from comfort towards the mad Kurtz, who represents complete madness caused by imperialism, they slowly fall into madness. The protagonist, Captain Benjamin L. Kurtz joined with 4 other crew members. However, his initial professionalism is exploited as he is shown to direct his attention to Lance, a pro surfer, rather than giving water to a wounded man. The use of high angle shots of the lieutenant in the helicopter shows his power and ability to dominate. LOL The still image of the river at night through the blue filter highlights the cold and feelings of isolation.
Right in the next scene, it is dark and the boat is partly enshrouded in fog and mist with a blue backdrop.
Accompanied by a solo line of some sort of high-pitched instrument, it highlights the stress of the situation as they venture deeper into unknown territory. The value of domination is then questioned when Willard makes a pit stop when welcomed by the friendly French.
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Because there are no background noises except the voice coupled with the close up on face, it highlights the importance of this message. A somber mood is then presented as silence follows and the camera shows half of face in the shadows of orangey light from sun. The growing paranoia amongst the crew is reflected in the more frequent use of the fog motif. This is evident when the crew travels further up the river and Lance begins making animal noises with non-diegetic sounds of clapping and tribal music.
When Willard reaches Cambodia, there is a high angle tracking shot representing White dominance over the natives.
Essay Example: Heart of Darkness vs. Apocalypse Now
This shot is accompanied by non-diegetic sounds of pulsing beats of 2 creating tension and dramatic effect. The colour symbolism of red mist in background further shows danger.
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Upon his arrival, Willard is caged underground engulfed in darkness with only streams of lights that flows through the cracks. This physical portrayal of him being in darkness is only the beginning of his mental descent into madness. The final scenes of cross cutting between Willard slaughtering Kurtz and the natives slaughtering the buffalo acts as an ironic metaphor of the unrestrained behaviour of the American soldier with their use of gratuitous violence.
At this point, Willard is at his peak of mental instability. We see everything through the eye of the camera.
Another similarity between the two stories is the audience. Either by book or my film, this story is being told to someone.
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In Heart of Darkness, the narrator is telling the story to the other people on the boat, while in Apocalypse Now, Willard is telling the story to the audience. Continue reading this essay Continue reading. Toggle navigation MegaEssays. Saved Essays. Topics in Paper. Example Essays. Heart of Darkness vs Apocalypse Now.
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