For this blog, I chose to watch a clip from one of my favorite movies–Ocean’s 12 (the first one was better, but I still love this scene!). This particular scene is great because it is a perfect demonstration of why I love these movies so much. The on-screen chemistry between George Clooney and Brad Pitt is comedic gold! Check out the clip here:
So in order to analyze this clip, I first turned the volume all the way down and watched it with no sound. Right off the bat, the room is dark and the person in the frame is shrouded in shadows. There is a sliver of light coming in through the curtained window, implying that the person in the frame was awakened suddenly in the morning. The person picks up the phone and his head drops, implying that he received some bad news. Finally, he switches on a light. The camera then cuts to a shot of a door opening and Brad Pitt standing behind it. The door opening could symbolize that a certain amount of time has passed. You still don’t see the face of the person on the left of the frame, but the implication is that this is the same person who was just awaken suddenly. Finally, the camera cuts to show George Clooney looking confused. There is dialogue between the two, and each time someone speaks, the camera cuts to show them from over the other person’s shoulder. This signifies an exchange of conversation and tries to put the viewer into the scene and give them a “real” perspective. Finally, Pitt invites Clooney into the room and the camera cuts to a small TV. The TV plays for a bit and then the camera cuts to the two guys on the couch drinking wine. In between Pitt and Clooney is a another curtained window with a sliver of light coming through, just like when the scene started. Neither person is looking at one another–they’re just staring straight ahead at the TV. However, there is an implication of a comfortable relationship between the two. They drink their wine simultaneously, exchange a few sporadic comments, but otherwise not much takes place after they sit on that couch.
Next, I only listened to the scene. The first sound is a phone ringing and a person abruptly getting up to answer it. There’s some sighing when the voice on the phone tells him it is time to wake up, signifying that this is an unexpected call. Next, the sound cuts to a knock on a door and a door opening, introducing another character into the scene. There’s an exchange between the two characters and they realize that the wakeup call was actually a trick. The character who opened the door invites the other inside, and it sounds like a TV show or movie is playing in the background. This sound continues throughout the rest of the scene, almost like it is a necessary distraction to the conversation. Additionally, once the TV starts playing, the conversation begins to die down with very few words exchanged between the two characters. Finally, one of the characters makes a comment about what’s on the TV and music immediately starts playing, signifying the end of the scene.
Lastly, I watched the scene as intended–with audio and video. This is why the scene is one of my favorites–the chemistry between the two is so good, so comfortable, and so funny. It is like the two are so comfortable with one another that once they sit on the couch, they are effectively having two separate conversations but it isn’t weird at all. Brad Pitt is talking about his problems and George Clooney doesn’t even address them when he finally speaks, but there is an implication that their friendship runs so deep that it doesn’t matter. Pitt is also in a bathrobe, implying that the two are just very comfortable around one another. The relationship is effortless, and this is why the interactions are so good.