Chinatown

A Comparison of Chinatown: Script and Screenplay 11th Grade

Whilst the world of Chinatown is a filthy pool of bitter desperation and questionable morality in both the script created by Robert Townes and the film made by Roman Polanski, the versions show noticeable differences due to the altering of mediums.

Nicholson builds a significantly more detailed character than is seen on the page by applying a myriad of mannerisms and varying tones. It is through this that Gittes is transformed from a cynical, indifferent private eye to a more complex combination of seedy corruption, surface charm and a desire to uncover the shady underside of 1937 Los Angeles while simultaneously being successful and gaining credibility.

Another way in which the character of Gittes is enhanced in the film is through the usage of costuming. The colouring of Gittes’ suits and the accessories that accompany them emphasise certain traits including his constantly wavering morality and the cool collectiveness that he attempts to portray.

The constantly differing but always muted colouring of Gittes’ attire acts as a measurement of his varying levels of corruption and provides a visual representation of his fragmented personality. The shades of grey, white and black that dominate his costuming suggests the many facets...

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