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My Sister’s Keeper Essay

In the movie, My Sister’s Keeper, a suspenseful journey through a 13 year old’s push for medical emancipation. Anna, Sara, and Kate Fitzgerald get bumps and bruises from arguing over the overall morals of Kate Fitzgerald’s life. Being an ongoing fighter of leukemia, Anna, the youngest child of Brian and Sara Fitzgerald, go through a seemingly endless process arguing over their leukemia-stricken daughter Kate’s life. Throughout the whole movie, the setting is either in general, Rhode Island or in Providence Hospital where Kate goes for chemotherapy by Dr. Chance. A suspense filled movie, Nick Cassavetes creates a drama filled movie.

During one of the final scenes of this magnificent movie, Kate and Anna are sitting outside of their home in the grass on a blanket. Kate is explaining to Anna all of the thoughts that have been going through her mind for the past few months. Cassavetes includes a flashback of Anna catching Kate locked in her room drinking and doing drugs. Kate was blasting rock music and oblivious to the harm that she was causing her leukemia-stricken body.

Not ever was Anna able to put two and two together to realize that Kate did not want to live and suffer with pain every minute of her cancer-full life. As a whole, this scene is etched into the film well. The overall purpose of this scene, after all of the tension, is to show a more sensitive side of the movie. This is brought out, especially when Kate is braiding Anna’s hair, furthermore symbolizing the cancer that has inflicted Kate. This scene also portrays the stronger side of Kate through the movie. Throughout the movie, Kate was always worried about never getting a boyfriend because she had no hair.

For the majority of the scene, the distance of the camera follows a pattern. The camera would begin far away and then goes close-up to a certain character. The director chose to do both close-ups and long shots in order to show the proportion difference between Anna’s perspective and Kate’s. Kate can then be seen by viewers as the aggressor in the scene. The camera movement varies throughout the scene. When the director wants to convey the amount of tension in the act, he pans the camera. This type of camera movement is key to showing the unlimited amount of tension present in this scene.

The director would focus on how Anna felt beat when she finds out that after all of the donations and surgeries that she had been through, her sister wants to over intoxicate herself. Low-angle shots are used by the actors who would look up into the sky and reminisce. The director uses this angle to exemplify the amount of thinking that Kate does about her life and her future. Overall the purpose of the various camera angles and movement is to draw the audience members into the movie and make is seem as though they are with the characters.

Throughout the scene, the lighting varies. The director mainly uses three-point lighting around Kate and Anna to light up and enhance the entire scene. He most likely illustrates this form of lighting to add depth to the surrounding of the two main characters and keep the characters visible at all times of the scene. When the director wants to make a clip seem darker and more serious to the viewers, he uses film noir. This type of lighting is used when Anna catches Kate drinking in her room and blasting rock music in her room.

Without this dark lighting, the clip wouldn’t seem as rigid as it should appear. All in all, lighting in this specific scene of My Sister’s Keeper is extremely important to exemplify the scene. The costumes play a major part in this scene. Although the attire seems like clothes that the average teenager would wear on a daily basis, it shows the calm setting of this part of the scene. When Anna finds her sister in her room drinking, Kate was wearing all black and her makeup was running down her face and Anna was in her pajamas.

With all of this said, the costumes worn in the scene are substantial for the viewers because it helps them understand the sisters have fights on and off. The set of the movie doesn’t take place in California, but in a studio. Although the scene appears to be located in the city of fame, in actuality it is shot using green screens. If the did take place in the authentic location, the director would have a harder time getting perfect lighting. The majority of the time, the sky was a perfect blue and had just the right amount of clouds.

Even though the set is green-screened, the scene is much better because of the computed generated graphics like the sky and the clouds that are produced, From the beginning to the end, the scene has an assortment of different kinds of editing from montage to cut transitions. When the director wanted to separate the two sections of the scene, he cut the two to show the difference in the two sections. When the director was wrapping this scene up, he faded this scene out. In conculsion, this scene, hands down, is the most valuable part of the movie.

All of the thought in camera angles, lighting, costumes, set, editing, and sound came together to shape a brilliant scene. All of these elements allowed the audience to capture a “big-sister moment”, especially when she is braiding her hair and telling her memorable stories. Without this, the movie would not have been complete. I believe that this scene was necessary to bridge the gap between the tension-full scenes to the scene when Kate dies. All in all, the director’s cinematic techniques in the scene portray the themes of love and friendship beautifully in the film.


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