Objectivity and Subjectivity

Nearly all films style themselves into either objectivity or subjectivity. This meaning that they either show characters from the plot’s point of view, or as from the character’s perspective, respectively. I’m going to cover two great films, Die Hard and Sherlock Holmes, for this article to further explain these perspectives. 

I thought I’d cover Die Hard now since the fifth movie is coming out next month and it’s quite possibly my favorite movie. I also feel like this movie is a good example of objectivity. Throughout the movie, the audience learns a lot about John McClane. He’s afraid of flying, he’s a NY police officer, his wife and kids moved for her job but he stayed behind, he’s smarter than your average terrorist, he’s very resourceful, he has a sense of humor even in danger “catch phrase”, and he never gives up. This movie offers all of this information without ever showing McClane’s personal perspective. You never hear this thoughts, and often his actions are unpredictable. However, through treating McClane objectively, the movie has a sense of suspense without withholding vital information.

Sherlock Holmes however, approaches the film from more of a subjective view. The part of the film that best exemplifies this is the organized fight scene. In this scene, Holmes imagines every move he plans to use against his opponent which he predicts will secure his victory. Once the imaginary sequence ends, Holmes performs every action he’d just imagined in real life. This scene shows Holmes’s intelligence and how he views and processes things. It’s a very interesting view of Holmes that fans probably hadn’t seen before, and a great example of subjective view.

These are both great films that I would readily recommend. Especially Die Hard! I don’t need to be paid to recommend you to catch up on the first four in preparation to see the fifth one coming on this Valentines day.


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