The value of a person’s being is based on what he does. For this particular movie, Daniel Ocean was presented as someone who was willing to do something against the being of the rich ones to retrieve a sense of life that he believes is his. He gets ten other men to complete the job he hopes to accomplish. The key to his desire is to accomplish particular procedures that are at some point impossible to think of. The goals of Ocean are established and he is willing to go through anything, go to anyone as needed to make sure that his goals are fulfilled. This goal has lead him and his friends into becoming highly involved in technical procedures that include exhibitions even that of a physical act close to a circus. Nevertheless, it could be realized that his desire to create a name not for his own recognition but for the sake of self-definition that he himself will recognize later on. This analysis aims to prove that the marriage of thematic presentation and setting arrangement [including lighting arrangements] do increase the value of the message that a particular movie aims to portray. This analysis shall be specifically based on the 2001 version of Ocean’s Eleven.
Released and shown to the public in 2001, Ocean’s Eleven is considered as a remake of the 1960 film entitled Rat Pack. The movie aims to portray how classy robbery could be portrayed and how much specifically complicated plans could be undergone by the mastermind to make sure that everything becomes successful. In their course of looking for a way to get what they want, they end up getting what they specifically needed as individuals, solid friendship. What makes this movie exceptional is the way it portrays robbery at a higher level of complexity and yet it also shows how much friendship and trust between the characters rather developed as they intended to get what they wanted from the men they believe are also robbing other people with their eyes wide open. Considered to be under the genre comedy-crime caper movie, this film represented the message taken from the original film of 1960s to a higher level of recognition for the new generation of viewers to enjoy (Hennig-Thurau, et al, 2012, 281).
The story of eleven men getting together to meet a certain goal of robbing a particular chain of casinos in Las Vegas entails to present how intricate planning could lead the individuals to overcoming the odds of their desire and specifically coming out successfully from the operation that they engage in. On the other end, the story also entails to present the idea of heroism. Casinos are establishments that offer a particularly huge winning for those who are willing to bet big enough and to those who are likely ‘lucky’. This however occurs very unlikely because of the fact that not all are lucky nor are all the people who are willing to bet a lot are likely given the chance to win back what they have supposedly risked in the games they engaged in (Rosenbaum, 2000, 46). In a way, promoting gambling games in the casinos is one way of robbing off the people who appreciate what the said business offer. Gaining more from considerably releasing less in the market is the primary course of business that owners of casinos run. In this film, it is shown that eleven men were willing to go against the odds and make sure that one among the most successful casinos in Las Vegas would lose its profits for a larger cost. In a way, the movie tries to justify the essence of robbery that the main characters undergo through imposing that the one they are going to steal from are huge culprits of stealing from the public as well (Rosenbaum, 2000, 43).
To uphold this thematic approach of the film, the director made sure that the robbers [Ocean’s Eleven; the group of Daniel Ocean] would appear as sleek as possible in their wardrobe practically showing off a double 07 feel into the characters (Haberski, 2001, 88). Relatively, such appearance is balanced with the hope of presenting each character as ragged as possible when it comes to the operation of robbery that they are supposed to undergo. Complex and elite as the plan is, the act of robbery in this film is presented by the director in relation to the realm of a more justifiable condition that could relatively present the values recognized by the main characters of the plot.
Each turn of event was clear. Each assumption of transformation of situation is considerably sufficient in retaining the interest of the viewers. Director Soderbergh clearly wanted to more than just create a remake of the old film. He wanted the new movie be suited to fill the senses and the excitement needed by the new generation of viewers. This meant making the turn of each event more exiting and somewhat unpredictable. Soderbergh knew that the audiences he was aiming to serve do have a higher caliber of hunger for excitement compared to the audience served in the 1960’s (Haberski, 2001, 34). Predictability of events was a huge matter that the director tried to avoid (Haberski, 2001, 39). This is the reason why the settings were conditioned to suit the high-tech ideas that protect establishments like casinos in Las Vegas.
Research and deep integration of reality in the movie was one of the key elements that made the film more interesting. Considering high-end casinos represented in the movie, the team of robbers needed something more than just a plan to enter and get out of the establishment without being noticed to have gotten several hundreds of thousands of dollars in their hands. The approach was tricky which made it more exciting for the audience.
Soderbergh wanted everything to be realistic and every bit of the story realizable for the viewers’ sake. In this case, establishing a solid yet remarkable cinematographic approach to represent each element making up each scene, the director made sure that the elements to be used are all high-tech while the traditional treatment for a robbery crime is retained at a solid state. Hip and cool; this is the ‘feel’ that the movie aims to pass on to its viewers.
Apart from the supposedly pressuring accounts of and emotions relating to robbing a casino, the characters and the story itself represents the act to be rather ‘cool’. Not to send a message to the public that it is rather cool to steal, instead, the director wants to impose that with teamwork, everything could be accomplished, even matters that may be considered impossible at first.
To make sure that everything was realistic, Soderbergh started with the management of the set’s lighting. If it was an investment to the films used during the shoots, then it was what the director relatively provided. What was important for Soderbergh was to likely make each scene seem like they are not lighted at all. In this case, setting the contrast of the studio lighting with the natural lighting of the environment where they are shooting the scenes was rather necessary. In the movie, this approach specifically impacted the manner by which the film is represented in sleek yet not too glossy lighting (Hennig-Thurau, et al, 2012, 283). There are rough edges to the presentation making it easier for the audience to get the idea that although it represents a cool way of coming together between those who were robbing the Casino, it was also necessary to make the approach ragged to suggest the feel of crime being assumed in the story. It then ended up being a half way representation of a double 07 film while also considering the representation of a crime-like Italian Job approach (Rosenbaum, 2000, 76) . Overall, it has been proven through this analysis that thematic representation and specific arrangement of the settings used in the film created a higher value for the movie and the message it represents towards its viewers.
Hennig-Thurau, Thorsten, André Marchand, and Barbara Hiller. The Relationship between Reviewer Judgments and Motion Picture Success: Re-analysis and Extension Journal of Cultural Economics, 36 (3), 249-283, 2012.
Haberski, Raymond J. Jr. It’s Only A Movie!: Film and Critics in American Culture, University Press of Kentucky, 2001.
Rosenbaum, Jonathan. Movie Wars: How Hollywood and the Media Conspire to Limit What Films We Can See, A Cappella Books, 2000.