Death Parade Episode 1
In the first episode of Death Parade a husband’s suspicion about his wife’s infidelity comes to light during a painful game of darts. For these types of scenarios the natural inclination for the audience is to ask the question, “Who do I believe?” However, this episode’s camera work actually leads the audience to an answer to that question by presenting one character as more believable than the other. Of course, this was done as misdirection.
The last image, a worm’s eye view shot of the spinning chandelier, creates a dizzying effect. This feel of dizziness creates a perception that the husband is emotionally unstable and not one to be believed.
As the wife tries to explain the folly of her husband’s suspicion she was shot at eye level angles. In contrast to the high and low angles, these are stable looking shots that can be associated with level-headedness. The wife was portrayed to be far more believable to the audience, which set up the big revelation later on.
We get another shot of the chandelier, but this time it’s an overhead without the spinning. It then turns to a slow downward crane shot that has a sense of calmness which further reinforces her believability.
There are a few things going on with this composition. The ground level framing is quite appropriate for man at his lowest moment. The shot manipulates relative sizes. The husband is made to look diminutive which makes him look more weak and pathetic. The wife appears larger which presents a mood of conviction and moral high ground.
The husband is framed in and out of the wife’s strides. This creates a visual rhythm of the sad image of the slouching husband. This rhythm repeatedly instills to the audience his supposedly paranoia induced breakdown. The tracking shot pulling away from the husband and the rhythm in the wife’s strides display her as composed and ready to move on from his misplaced rage and suspicion.
This little tracking shot is a nice piece of visual storytelling. It communicates the emotional state of the characters and cleverly acts as a misdirection that made the final revelation even more impactful.