Sunday, August 28, 2011
The film starts with a blurred shot of straight lines of white light. Soon a woman, the main character, rises and her head is in an extreme close up -- note that the camera has remained static. The extreme close up allows us to see the emotion that the woman is feeling. She is out of breath and appears to be confused. As her head rises the film cuts to a medium shot of the woman to reveal that she is in a confined room; this room is very gray and dull just like a jail cell. The film then cuts to a medium shot of the woman and it seems that she is wearing a hospital patient's gown. There is some blood on it. The woman is very lit up which contrasts with her back ground as it is stark black. Perhaps this is done to draw the audience's eyes to the woman and away from unimportant details in the room so that they can see the blood on her gown. The scene then cuts to her rushing to a small mirror in the room. Several match action cuts are made that show the woman breaking the mirror then picking up a piece of the broken glass to see where the blood came from. The glass reveals that there is sort of a barcode on her neck. A reverse shot then shows this barcode more clearly and then another reverse shot gives a close up on the woman's face and shows the horror that she feels. The woman turns around and then looks at a wall behind her. A rack focus reveals writing on the wall.
Actually, it is not writing but rather engraved tally marks. As the woman turns away from the wall the rack focus blurs out the tally marks and again focuses on the woman's face.
She is still confused and unsure of what is happening. Then a long shot of the room reveals how small the room indeed is. This long shot however has been edited to appear like a security camera shot in which the image is black and white and there is a time indicator on the bottom left corner of the shot.
The scene continues and several varied shots show the woman exercising in her room. After all what else can she do? Eventually the woman starts to look for weaknesses in the room's architecture. She discovers a large gun that creates "portals". Visual effects bring these portals to life and a mirror like effect shows how the portals work -- you can go into one portal and you'll come out of the sister portal.
The woman utilizes these portals to escape security and she eventually goes outside. It appears that she is about to be free but as the camera pans around the city the city becomes 2 dimensional.
In all honesty, this is one of my favorite shots of all time. The camera panned around the woman in 3D space and because it was in 3D space it became apparent the background of the shot was indeed linear and just a wall. It turns out that she can not escape and is confined in whatever building she is in. There is no escape for her.