Psycho and Film Essay

Submitted By brodo34567890
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Pages: 4

How does Hitchcock explore one or two main ideas in the film, Psycho?
Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, featuring Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins, was created in 1960. Hitchcock uses dialogue, costumes and lighting, as well as many other film techniques to thrill the audience and keep them on the edge of their seats from the beginning of the film to the end. Hitchcock had a great ability to tell a story in a terrifying way and haunt the viewers for a long time after their experience with the film.
Dialogue plays a very important part in characterisation; in the way the characters are perceived. Sam and Marion are talking about meeting up in hotels and Marion tells him she does not want to do it anymore. She says “we steal lunch hours”. This is ironic because lunch hours, are not the only thing she steals. She also steals $40, 000, which makes the audience feel sorry for her because what she is going though. We immediately dislike Cassidy, because a lot of what he says shows that he is a very arrogant and self-centered man. Disliking him puts the audience on Marion’s side, which makes them more likely to have sympathy for her when she is murdered. He tells Marion that he buys happiness off; gloating about the fact that he owns a lot of money and Marion does not. He then asks Marion if she is unhappy, to which she replies “Not inordinately”. But the audience is aware that yes, she is unhappy, and she later does intend to buy it off, just as Cassidy explained he does. Cassidy also tells Lowry that he should buy some air-conditioning for his employees because with the money he has just been given, he can now afford it. This shows that Cassidy is only interested in money. As Cassidy keeps talking, Marion notices more and more how important money is to get ahead in life, and that she and Sam have none. Just as dialogue sets the mood for the scene, so does the lack of dialogue, which is displayed several times later in the film. This is a great example of Hitchcock using film techniques to his advantage in the way the characters are portrayed through the use of dialogue.
Costuming plays an enormous role in symbolising the characters and what their intent is. Marion is wearing white underwear in this scene, which contradicts her identity in the scene after she has taken the money, as she then wears black underwear, which symbolises her evil intent. While she is in white, she is innocent and she has done no wrong. White symbolises purity and innocence, so it is appropriate for this symbolism to be used in the film. When Marion gets changed into the black underwear, she has begun to think about taking the money, as the colour black symbolises evil. As the movie is in black and white, these are the only two colours that can be used to make this comparison and they are contrasted with each other several times throughout the film. The other character costume that influences the way he is seen is Cassidy, his costume helps to portray him as the…