Film: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Wes Anderson uses a medium close-up shot here to show the audience that the characters are helpless and no longer in control of their ship.
The overhead shot of Owen Wilson’s character while he lays unconscious drives the narrative further by creating a distance between him and his father.
After Bill Murray’s character realizes that his son is unconscious the camera focuses on him with the other characters used as borders with the background washed out. This close-up shot is used to show that his character’s mind is racing and he is considering taking drastic measures to save his son.
This extreme close-up during a clip sequence while the character begins to become angry references a previous scene where Bill Murray’s character lost his best friend and became manic. This shot was only a fraction of a second, to demonstrate the character’s decision-making process and the origins of his anger.
Another close-up is used when his character begins to remove his constraints; his character is taking actions to escape while his counterparts are used to border the shot to show the extreme measures that he is taking.
The wide-angle framing used in this shot shows Bill Murray’s character take out one of the pirates and includes his team tied up, to show the severity of the situation and the risks that he is taking. From this angle, Bill Murray’s character is still in control of the situation.
The long shot used here switches the perspective of the audience to that of the pirates, as Bill Murray’s character is climbing the stairs he becomes a bigger embodiment of anger and the pirates see him as invincible as he evades every gunshot.
Another wide-angle shot is used to show the audience everything that Bill Murray’s character is up against as well as include the open ocean, symbolizing that the character is on his own in this battle.
This close-up shot from a lower angle drives the narrative that Bill Murray’s character has become something bigger than himself. The perspective of the shot makes the viewer look up to the character.
The distance in this long shot is used to show that the pirates have failed at their attempt to take over the ship and are abandoning their kidnapping mission. The length is used to demonstrate the separation between them and Bill Murray’s character who has taken control of the heist.
The extreme long shot here further shows that these individuals are out in the middle of nowhere as well as giving the audience a view of all of the destruction brought on by the pirates.
These two medium close-ups utilize depth of field to create a further separation between the character and the pirates. This distance is executed by focusing on the character while the pirates disappear into the horizon. The close-up captures Bill Murray’s character’s relief that the pirates have surrendered and chosen to leave them alone.