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The Death of Bonnie and Clyde: Film Analysis

The Dramatic deaths of the notorious duo, Bonnie and Clyde, was a very interesting scene. Though brief, it conveyed to us many things in the way it was shot. The scene was a piece of cinematographic gold, even though at the time of its release many had mixed feelings. Time magazine had even written a review that derided it(though, changed in a later issue).

The scene starts with the duo driving down a road to avoid the cops, when they see Ivan on the side of the road. They then pull over to see what’s troubling him when suddenly birds fly out from the trees, followed by a hell-storm of bullets that put an end to Bonnie and Clyde’s escapades. The camera shots used for this scene were very quick, only staying on a single thing for less then a second. However, the shots still hold a great deal of significance inside. For instance, the use of the birds flying out from the trees is a great way of informing us to an immediate danger. This comes from the idea of an animal’s ability to sense when something is wrong. Another two shots that hold great meaning are the close up of Bonnie and the medium close up of Clyde. In these two shots we see the duo look to each other with a waterfall of emotion. We see from this, that they know of their imminent death, as well as the love between them.

The part that caused many mixed feelings was the very last part of this scene, where the shooters step out from the bushes and stand next to the bodies of Bonnie and Clyde until they fade out. Many feel cheated at this ending but it really tells more than what they think. The utter silence that follows the scene creates a unique atmosphere. The lack of mourning or any real emotion conveys to us the truth about Bonnie and Clyde. That truth was that they were criminals and murderers, and that you can only run so far. It wakes us up to the reality that they were in the wrong and deserved no dramatic funeral or anything of that nature. The fade out used to close the film also helps to paint this picture. It helps us to try and realize that there is nothing more to be said.

In Reality Bonnie and Clyde were both in their car when the shooting occurred. However this was changed though for Dramatic reasons in order to capture more emotion between the two. Also on the tombstone of Bonnie Parker is written, “As the flowers are all made sweeter by the sunshine and the dew, So this old world is made brighter by the lives of folks like you.” This quote was presented in film in this scene as well when we are shown the Birds fly directly past a clear sky with the sun shinning bright.

Despite what critics once said, this scene hold great importance and was displayed quite elegantly. Its use of symbolism and shots created such a memorable scene. It reminds us of the reality of Bonnie and Clyde, that you can never run away for ever. Also the fact that the characters we have grown to like throughout the film, are nothing more then murderers and criminals and that this was their unavoidable fate. So overall, the death scene is beautifully captured and very deep in its briefness.

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~ by kevinvelez on December 9, 2010.

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