Representation of Gender in Prime Suspect: Helen Mirren's Character

744 Words Dec 1st, 2013 3 Pages
In the clip of Prime Suspect, gender is represented in many ways using mise en scene and camera movement.
One way camera movement is used to show gender is during the scene when the Super is telling his team that their investigation is going to be led by a woman. The camera pans around the room depicting the officer’s reactions, all of which are men. This camera movement coupled with the unhappy reactions from all the men in the room shows us that this is a man’s world and that Helen Mirren’s character will struggle to be taken seriously. Another example of gender through camera movement is after Helen Mirren’s character is told that she has got the job. The clip starts with a shot of the Commander sign on the door, that she then opens
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This is the same during the talk between the Super and the Commander. However, during this scene; as soon as the Commander mentions ‘female murder squad officer’ it switches to close up shots of each officer to show their discomfort at the idea.

While Tennison is looking at the photos of the victim, it cuts from a shot of her to the shot of the photo that mirrors Tennison’s position exactly. This shows that she is much more empathetic to the victims than the men are. It also suggests that she may feel victimised in this man’s world.

Mise en scene is also used to represent gender in many ways. For example, she keeps her hair short and wears no make-up in order to appear more masculine so that she will be taken seriously in her job. Also all of the men wear dark suits while she wears white shirts. This sets her apart as a woman and she stands out in the crowd of men. This idea is mirrored in the Commander’s office which is panelled with dark wood; the furniture is all dark as well to reinforce this idea of masculinity.

Also, right from the start her desk is much more cluttered with files and pieces of paper than any of the men’s which suggests that she takes her job much more seriously than them and emphasizes the stereotype that men are lazy.

Finally, during the talk between the two men in the Commander’s

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