Lantana

Film Techniques to Explore the Ideas of Betrayal, Love, Trust, and Loss. 12th Grade

Lantana, directed by Ray Lawrence, is an Australian film that follows the lives of a group of people living in Suburban Sydney, as they attempt to navigate their relationships with the ones they love. The film explores intense themes of betrayal, trust, loss and love, and allows the viewer a glimpse into the everyday troubles that occur behind closed doors. Lawrence utilizes film techniques such as mise-en-scene, soundtrack, camera shots, camera angles and lense focusing to expertly convey these themes to the viewer.

Throughout the film Lantana, the concept of betrayal between life partners is explored through both the relationships of John and Valerie, and of Leon and Sonja. In the scene in which Valerie’s phone calls are ignored by John, mise-en-scene is utilized to convey the sense of betrayal in John’s actions. The recurring image of the phone and answering machine, coupled with the photographs of their daughter, and of them as a couple, presents a sad irony in how their relationship has developed. Furthermore, the stark contrast between the harsh lighting of the phone box from which a voice over of Valerie’s pleas can be heard, and the warm lighting of their home highlights the harsh betrayal with which John ignores her....

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