Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Stranger than Fiction: Harold Meets Karen Scene

I think the purpose of this scene is obviously to have Harold meet the woman who is writing his story, but also to show the similarities between Karen and her character. It is important to have a scene where they meet, because otherwise the movie would not have the same effect. If Harold did not try to stop his fate, it would show him as a weak character and defeat the whole purpose of the film-showing his growth from a dronish working man to a lovable person. The first shot is of Karen's assistant walking towards the door, and we see her through a peephole in the door. Harold is getting a tiny glimpse into the apartment through this small window, and its a very interesting shot. As she opens the door we see a long shot of Karen's assistant speaking with Harold and telling him to come in. They are strangers and are very intrigued/weirded out by the situation. While Harold starts walking down the hallway to meet Karen, she sees him in long shots, moving closer and closer while she gasps in disbelief of his familiarity. There is an over the shoulder shot of Harold walking into the Karen's room. She stands by the chair and begins to back away, and she appears to be much smaller than Harold cowering in his presence. Then there is a medium shot of Harold walking in the room and saying his name, and the camera switches between this shot and close-ups of Karen observing Harold. While they talk about how strange the whole situation is, we hear them discussing but we see a shot of Karen's assistant sitting in a chair across from the desk with the typewriter. The hallway is bare and we just hear voices at this point. AFter there are medium close-ups of them exchanging their thoughts on the situation, she sits down at her desk, and right when this happens Harold asks her about his death. She starts to stammer as Harold gets adamant and frustrated, almost like he is pleading for her to save his life. With her sitting at the desk it makes it seem like they are discussing a very important business transaction, and Harold is pleading with the boss. Their heated exchange is quickly interrupted with Karen's assistant coming in and telling Karen to let Harold read his death. She stands in between them and they are both looking at her. A reaction shot shows them staring at the camera as if it were Karen's assistant. We see them both realize that they need to approach the death of Harold, and that Harold needs to see it.

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