The film “The Fugitive” is an action thriller film directed by Andrew Davis. It shows the story of doctor Richard Kimble, played by actor Harrison Ford, who is accused of his wife’s murder. The protagonist tries to clear his name and find and punish the actual killer. The mentioned film can serve as an instance of all three principles of suspense implementation, which is used to create feelings of anxious uncertainty for viewers, which significantly contribute to the general impression from a movie. This essay will focus on principles of suspense shown in particular scenes of the film and provide their detailed discussion.
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Principles of Suspense
The first principle of suspense is isolation, which is intended to show the distance between the hero of a story and the society that create an oppressive feeling and assist in tension raising. In the film “The Fugitive,” there is a firm implementation of this principle in the scene, where already accused Dr. Richard Kimble is in the bus that is taking him to the prison (Davis, 1993). Viewers begin to perceive the gap between the “normal” society and the isolated murder, who is fated to sit in prison. This gap becomes deeper after the protagonist escapes the bus. The disorientation is shown in the scene where the bus falls off a cliff, and crashes, as it creates the feeling of uncertainty about what is going to happen next (Davis, 1993). And the last principle, which is misdirection, can be seen in the scene, where he saves a life of a policeman and the viewers obtain proof of the protagonist not being guilty in his wife’s murder (Davis, 1993).
The film “The Fugitive” successfully raises and keeps the feeling of anxious uncertainty for those who watch it. The story is dramatic and creates tension in accordance with three principles of suspense mentioned above, in the scenes where the protagonist escapes the bus, finds himself in chaos, and not killing the cop. Suspense is the strong feeling that significantly contributes to the experience viewers obtain from a film.
Davis, A. (Director). (1993). The Gugitive [Film]. Kopelson Entertainment.