Rocky is an inspirational sports action film that focuses on the importance of never giving up, to be persistent, and to have self confidence in one’s self . The theme is shown through techniques the director used, such as, mise-en-scene, cultural invisibility, and lighting.
The movie captures the emotional hardship Rocky goes through in his training for the match of a lifetime, this includes his physical and mentally hardships. The movie displays the obvious theme that believing in yourself should come above, what everyone else thinks about you.
The movie Rocky was filmed in Philadelphia were some of the key scenes were filmed on actual streets. This was an important key to establish the mise-en-scene of the movie because it places an importance on the setting, and how it contributed to Rocky’s journey into believing that he could do anything, even beat Apollo Creed. The setting helps show that Rocky has the positive mindset a couple days before going into the match, and it even shows that he is ready to compete.
The scene where Rocky was able to run up the Philadelphia Art Museums steps, is considered an ironic scene for this reason. Rocky at this point in the movie believed he could have a shot to win against Apollo Creed.
Since, the movie was filmed on the streets of Philadelphia, it helps the viewers grasp the idea that the movie was indirectly based on true events, which adds to the realism of the movie.
The movie was inspiried by Chuck Wepner who fought 15 rounds against Muhammad Ali, just like in the movie Rocky Balboa fought 15 rounds against Apollo Creed.
This movie taps into the belief that you should believe in yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks. This theme is obvious throughout the movie, that is how it boosts the idea of the cultural invisibility in the movie. The film industry uses the ideology of believing in yourself to appeal to their viewers.
In the movie one of Rocky’s most famous quotes, “But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth,” it helps lure audience to keep watching, because it sparks an interest to them, or it might even give them chills down their spine.
This moment, or moments like these are put into the movie to entertain the audience, in efforts to help ratings of the movie. The film industry wants to tap into the viewers fundamental beliefs, because the interest will help get higher ratings, which would ultimately make the industry more money.
Some scenes alone can also add to the cultural invisibility. Scenes that make the viewers believe in the main character can maybe also relate to events in the viewer’ life. In one scene of Rocky, Rocky says “All I wanna do is go the distance,” this famous quote from the movie doesn’t only show the self confidence Rocky has, but tell the viewer that they can do anything as well.
Lighting also plays a vital role in displaying the theme shown throughout the movie. Lighting creates the atmosphere of most movies, in Rocky the lighting creates an atmosphere of struggle and persistence. The first half of the movie was mostly dim lit, to create a sense that Rocky was struggling with his life up until Apollo Creed chose him as his next opponent.
This was shown through the lighting techniques, low-key lighting and three-point lighting. Low-key lighting was used to define the contrast between the bright and dark parts of the scene, which adds to the dramatics of Rocky’s life. Whereas, three-point lighting was used in the dimly lit scenes to create a faint shadow, that helped create the dramatic mood of the scene.
The second part of the movie used natural and key lighting, which ultimately brightened up the scenes. The natural lighting was used during Rocky’s early morning workout scenes. The scene where Rocky was able to run up the Philadelphia Art Museums steps, used natural lighting, which showed the audience the persistant attitude that Rocky had acquired.
In the last scene of the movie, the boxing scene between Rocky and Apollo Creed, the director used key-lighting, to make scene clear, so that the viewer would not miss any part of the fight. The lighting in this scene is pivotal, because this is the scene that the whole movie was working up to, it is the scene that the theme plays the most pivotal role. Rocky puts to test his self-confidence, and doesnt give up before or during the match.