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Raging Bull one scene analysis

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Movie Analysis: “Raging Bull” by Martin Scorsese. Raging Bull is the autobiographical film based on the middleweight boxing champion Jake La Mota. The film was directed by the renowned director Martin Scorsese in 1981. The film, set in the 1940s, features Robert De Niro as Jake La Mota, a tough, moody, tense, aggressive, and suspicious character who vibrates like a plucked guitar string. Throughout the movie, the spectator can see the way character(s) are getting older. Jake La Mota, as represented in the film is a shady character. On the ring he seems graceful and out of the ring he seems aggressive and unsatisfied. Consequently, despite his fearless and destructive appearance, in his inner self, he is scared. He is afraid of being left alone. La Mata lives in fear and fear guides him through his life. Therefore, it is this fear what makes him feel jealousy toward his brother and his wife, Salvy.
Therefore, it is this fear what separates him from the rest. As spectators, we watch La Mota’s transition from one person to another. Thus, the movie also tries to convey these transformations, passing from the successful boxer to a spent, old cigar smoking man who has also gained weight. For that reason, Raging Bull seems to have that desire of showing the man and its changes, not just a static picture of La Mota’s glory years. From that point, we can see that he lead himself through the scene from where the movie started, using that view to building up the character and represent him within his personal context.

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The movie seems to show that it was him, through his actions that brought up loneliness to himself thanks to his jealousy and raging fits. Throughout the film we see a young, fit, raging La Mota and afterward we see a fat, older and lonely La Mota. Hence, these scenes are not made to convey the differences between being young or old, or about glory and dusk. Moreover, Raging Bull is a movie created to carry humanity. It paints a close and personal portrait of the downfall of a character, showing the crevices and issues of a man.
Consequently, from that perspective related to the emotional growth of La Mota, a defining scene is the scene when he is brought to prison, and the police officers are violent with him and he fails to overpower them. Hence, when he is put in isolation, the scene shows the darkness that has fallen on him. In this scene, soft-key lighting where shadows are visible is used. This kind of lighting and use of shadows sets a grimmer mood like of those in noir movies. Lighting is crucial in this scene because the scene itself displays how La Mota’s life turned into a darker side.
Therefore, light is combined with the idea. This dark lighting in this scene creates a particular mood and atmosphere, and it creates a meaning. Shadows and low contrast are associated with fear, anger, maybe regret as well. It is the only scene in the whole movie that is using very dark light with shadow and little contrast. In other scenes, it was used more full-face lighting that highlighted his face, and it can suggest openness and truth. In general, other scenes are brighter in the movie than in the prison scene. However, not only the movie’s use of light but also the way he is dressed in this particular scene.
Thus, this might also be a small detail that shows La Mota’s state in his life, indicating the transformation from one person to another like what he was during the boxing career and what he became now is clearly mentioned.
Nevertheless, he used to have people who cared about him. Also, although his wife and his brother did, and he was the center of the people’s attention, he did not seem to believe it, letting himself go and losing himself, gaining weight. Likewise, his life got to a breaking point and instead of his brother patting him on his back and motivating him, two police officers tighten up his arms and trying to throw him in into the jail. He is like a brutalized bull after the Toréador.
For this reason, scenes such as his dirty white shirt is a small detail that also might represent his irresponsibility towards himself and his life. It is a symbol of his decision of not caring too much about himself. In one scene he goes on the stage, makes some jokes, hangs out with the woman and in another, we can see that he is not as concentrated and jealous on these women like he used to be with his wife before. Subsequently, the scene shows how his relationship with the world changed. He was so tense during the boxing career, but now he makes jokes, not caring much about his current job. Finally, the symbol of the white shirt serves to represent how his former pristine life is not covered in spots, dark spots that represent his past and present deeds.
All things are considered, when he is placed inside the cage he starts hitting the wall, screaming the word “why” several times. Then, he continues hitting the wall harder and harder. With this action, he seems angry about himself and his current situation. We can feel that while he is hitting the wall he might have the flashbacks of everything that has been through his life. He feels alone; he feels in the dark, and we can see and feel that he gave up the fight that was between himself, between his nature and between life itself.

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