Compare and Contrast Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now Essay examples

Words: 1366
Pages: 6

Apocalypse Now, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, is the story of Captain Willard's journey up the Nung River in Cambodia to kill a general, Kurtz, who has lost control of himself. It is set in the Vietnam War and is a very gritty and affecting film. Imagine my surprise when I learned that it was sort of based on Joseph Conrad's famous novella, Heart of Darkness. Conrad's book, the tale of the sailor Marlowe's African adventure, is a study on the evils of colonialism. The two stories at first glance do not seem very similar, but after examining both, it is quite shocking the degree of similarity between the two. Many people have been able to draw comparisons to Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness and Francis Ford Coppola's film …show more content…
The sound is very important to this scene. Coppola uses a foreboding instrumental music that slowly builds as the scene gets more intense. This helps set the mood of the scene. Another sound that is very important is the cries we hear just before the attack. While Marlowe has to explain them, the look on Willard's face as he hears them, along with the audience, for the first time, is enough to frighten us. They sound unearthly and unnatural, just creepy, really. The effect of these sounds is the reason everyone on the boat gets into a frenzy, and makes them all quick to shoot once the arrows start flying, like the pilgrims. The deluge of little arrows looks the same on the screen as it is described in the book. Coppola uses a lot of medium shots and master shots that show all the activity that the attack has thrown the soldiers into. These wider shots allow us to see the whole picture and get caught up in the excitement of it all. Guns are twirling and shooting, arrows are flying, people are running around on deck… all of this is very fast paced and creates the same kind of rhythm that Conrad created with his words. Even the way the helmsman dies is the same. What Conrad tells us about, Coppola shows: The helmsman, who happens to be black (like the native in HOD), starts flipping out during the attack and abandons his post at the wheel. He goes out of the cover of the pilot-house and starts shooting like a maniac, to