Thursday, September 6, 2012
The intro song is a very upbeat, antsy melody with no words that evokes a feeling of anxiety. A “ting” noise is also a constant part of the track, which sounds almost like the start of an alarm. Because this is a crime movie, it is almost saying “time us up!” This song is also making an argument, however. It’s a very cool song. The song is using pathos in such a way that attempts to convince the reader that crime is cool and funny.
The film opens with four Jewish men walking into a bank. A Jewish-sounding song played on a violin beings to play. The men appear to be friendly, and even jest with the guard on duty as they pass through security. The song is happy, charming, and bouncy. This reinforces the fact that these are simple, nice people. As Louis Giannetti suggests in “Understanding Film,” even music that has no lyrics can characterize a set of people, as this scene clearly demonstrates. Giannetti continues, however, to state that music can provide an “ironic contrast.” This is evident in “Snatch.” As soon as the men walk into the safety deposit room, they pull out guns and steal a massive diamond, the jolly music playing in the background all the while.
Brad Pitt plays a character in the story named Mickey, who is a gypsy bareknuckle boxing champion. Although he is an amazing boxer that can knock out his opponents with a single punch, he has a very thick accent that most people cannot understand, which frustrates him. At one scene in the film, his mother is burned alive in a caravan. As the flames burn away, a guitar solo begins with long, high-pitched, eerie chords. Mickey’s friends are forced to restrain him, as he screams at the caravan. The lyrics in the song are undistinguishable and sound as if the singer is just making noises. This seems to reflect Mickey’s anger at the fact that not only is his mom dead, but his accent isn’t understandable. The sporadic guitar screeches help create the “emotional bridge” that the flames set the foundation for – a tactic described in Andrea A. Lunsford and John J. Ruszkiewics’ “Everything’s An Argument.” This bridge may allow the reader to see Mickey’s pain.
Near the end of the movie, two of the main characters are searching for a man named “Boris the bullet dodger.” They are parked in a car when they both out the driver’s side window, shocked looks on their faces. Although the camera does not show who is outside the car, the music helps the audience make the connection. This is described in by Giannetti as “cueing” the audience. Russian gypsy music begins to play, and the camera cuts to a shot of Boris standing in the middle of the street with a bag over his head, shuffling around like a chick with its head cut off. The combination of the awkward, bouncy lute music and the site of seeing this man in the middle of traffic creates a very comedic scene.
The music helps make sense of the complicated plot embedded within this film. It adapts to the various cultures and situations in a way that reciprocates the emotions of the characters and captivates the viewer.