Essay Analysis of Lighting in The Film Belly

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Analysis of Lighting in The Film Belly

The motion picture Belly explores the ghetto and the characters that live in this dark and obscure world of violence and criminal behavior. Tommy or "Bunz", and Sincere, who both live in New York, have differing views of criminal life. Bunz lives a mixed up, drug-run lifestyle, while Sincere aspires to be a law-abiding family man. To help the audience get the full effect of evilness portrayed by the character, the scenes are very dark and gloomy. There are, however, lighter scenes in which the good heart of one man is represented. The lighting in Belly helps with the characterization within the movie. One character is shown as a dark figure, and one as an almost holy figure, plus
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Seemingly he cannot escape the darkness of his world.

On the other hand, Sincere can! He was always at Bunz's side, until he started to read self-improvement books and his wife started to talk sense into him. The first time the viewer sees Sincere in light is when he starts to read books on how to better his life. He has a few books on the table in front of him, and a lamp about a foot from his head, so he is bathed in light. Since Sincere is attempting to better himself and others, he is considered the good guy in the movie, hence the light in all his scenes. When Bunz is on the phone in jail, he is talking with Sincere.
There is a very nice contrast between the characters because while Bunz is in complete darkness, Sincere is in his house in a well-lit room. This is shortly before Sincere announces his change in lifestyle from gangster to family man, and the audience is clued into it by the effect the lighting has; they are able to distinguish the good from the bad and foresee the change. In another scene, Sincere is attempting to pull a kid out of the downward spiral of gangs. The sky is very cloudy, the buildings are trashy, the apartments are rundown, and the sun has yet to come up. Through a long shot, the audience sees a glowing white light moving across a field towards the little boy. This glow is actually a white jacket worn by Sincere, but it is so bright it appears to be

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