Essay about Formal Analysis of Raging Bull

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Formal Analysis of Raging Bull Martin Scorsese’s film “Raging Bull” is considered by many to be one of the greatest “sports” films of all time. The plot focuses on the professional and personal life of boxer Jake LaMotta. In the opening sequence, the film uses narrative, mise en scene, cinematography, editing, and sound to provide a framework for the rest of the picture. These elements also help to establish the film’s themes of nostalgia, isolation, loneliness, and suffering. In addition to setting up the film’s themes, these elements also help to create two distinct personas of the main character Jake LaMotta. The narrative form exhibited in the opening sequence seems simple at first glance, but actually conveys a multitude of …show more content…
His robes that were loose fitting are now contrasted by the tightness of his tuxedo. LaMotta recites poetry and jokes that show a stark contrast to the poetry and grace of his movements in the ring. The once fit LaMotta now stands smoking a large cigar as he rehearses his act. This shows how some of his life choices lead him to his current position. In concordance with the opening scene, LaMotta is again seen by himself. He is totally alone in his cramped dressing room. These two scenes have now combined to underscore the film’s themes of isolation and loneliness. In the small and dirty dressing room, two lights hang above a mirror. The first light bulb is brightly lit and appears in the extreme left. The light bulb on the right is broken and burnt out, a visual metaphor for LaMotta himself. After LaMotta extends his hands and declares, “That’s entertainment!” the scene cuts to a medium close up. This view brings emphasis onto LaMotta’s old and beaten face. His nose is especially prominent and has apparently been broken many times. The low-key lighting enhances this effect. The realism of the film is also strengthened by actor, Robert DeNiro’s method acting style. Instead of wearing a fat suit, DeNiro added sixty pounds of weight. This is very apparent in this opening sequence and makes the appearance that many years have passed in this man’s