Ocean's Eleven - Film analysis of the first scene (covering Mise-en-scene, cinematography, sound, editing, and critical reception)

Essay by jonodiditHigh School, 11th gradeA, July 2009

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The blockbuster film Ocean's Eleven, released in 2001, was the first film of a trilogy of heist films directed by Steven Soderbergh. This big budget crime-thriller remake of the 1960's Rat Pack favourite conveys the intricately thrilling plot where Daniel Ocean leads a rag-tag group of con artists and ex-cons for the monumental heist of 3 major Las Vegas Casinos.

This sequence is significant because it sets up the diegesis of the film and also gives us an insight into the character of the protagonist. Also, structurally, the set up of the heist is crucial to setting up the audience's high expectations and apprehensions of how something of this scale can be achieved smoothly. Daniel Ocean, played by A-list star George Clooney, is being interviewed by the parole board at a small New Jersey State prison. Immediately after being released, Ocean heads straight for Atlantic City and then Las Vegas to begin recruiting old acquaintances for his grandest heist yet.

The genre feature of assembling the heist team members, each with a specific skill, is an extremely important one as it functions to make the audience anticipate what role each will play and how, exactly, their skills will come into play later. Through this sequence, it is made clear to us that Daniel Ocean is a leader and a natural, experienced criminal whose goals and ambitions are not affected by prison.

To put this film and its heist theme into context, we must take into consideration the significance of using a casino in Las Vegas as the target of the heist. Las Vegas, also known as sin city, is the entertainment and gambling capital of the world, where fortunes are made and lost. Las Vegas connotes certain values and attitudes. Heist genre films have to make the thieves...