One of the things that I like to do during my down time is catch a movie or watch my favourite television series. Recently, I’ve been watching Breaking Bad, starring Bryan Cranston as a high school chemistry teacher turned bad-ass rebel meth cook.
The main reasons I enjoy this series has as much to do with the compelling storyline and character relationships as the cinematography and the composition of the camera angles. Some striking scenes from the show manage to portray visual ironies and symbols to really captivate the internal mood and theme of the story.
For instance, when Cranston’s character comes rushing into the emergency room to find his wife, who has just given birth, the camera angle tracks on him and his wife the entire time, until the moment he sees his baby — then the camera turns to reveal the wife’s boss, who has had a extramarital relationship with her. This not only symbolizes the growing bond between the wife and the boss, but also visually portrays the breakdown of the main character’s marriage and family.
The director loves using visual techniques to really symbolize the irony and disparity between the character’s good side and his darker ego. As the story progresses, the line between the two becomes more ambiguous, and in turn, the visual overtones greatly reflect those character and story dynamics, to a point where one can truly appreciate the story in all its aspects.