Sunday, 5 March 2017

Film Review - Duel

Duel is a 1971 film directed by Steven Spielberg. It follows a driver, named David Mann, as he travels along a mostly empty and desolate road, all the while being terrorised by the driver of a large truck.

Image 1, Movie Poster

Duel is a film told with only one human character, David Mann, who is pitted against a truck with an unseen driver. David Mann expresses most things through actions rather than words, not saying very much. 'Mr. Weaver is David Mann, the film's only real character, and he's given a few internal monologues that only awkwardly express Mann's anxiety.' (Maslin, 1983). The anxiety felt by Mann is also shown through his face as he reacts to the truck.

Image 2, Mann's anxiety
Mann's adversary in this is a huge truck he overtakes on a long deserted road. The choices made for both Mann's car and the Truck show the difference in the drivers. Mann's car is small and dwarfed by the Truck chasing him. 'Presented with a line-up of vehicles, Spielberg opted for a Peterbilt gasoline tanker truck, partly due to its strangely human aspect' (Freer, 2000). This then meant that the Truck became a character of it's own, as we are never once shown the driver and we are given to recognise the humanistic aspects in the Truck itself.

Image 3, The Truck
The camera angles used by Spielburg also enhance the idea of the Truck being much larger than Mann's car as well as the idea of the Truck itself being a character. 'Spielberg emphasised the pace and scale of the vehicles by placing the camera low to the road.' (Freer, 2000). The camera being often kept below the vehicles was a way of emphasising the size of them, this was also done by having the camera show both the Truck and the car in the shot. This allowed the viewer to see the stark difference in size between the two vehicles.


Image 1, Movie Poster -

Image 2, Mann's anxiety -

Image 3, The Truck -



Freer, I, EMPIRE ESSAY: Duel Review, 2000 -

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