The Hangover Analysis

On a bachelor party in Las Vegas, four friends are drugged, and wake up the next morning with no memory of the night before. Realising that the groom is missing, they retrace their steps to find him, slowly revealing what had happened.

It is a comedy film, but it is different from the generic set-up of most comedy films on the market, as it is told in a non-chronological  order, starting with the middle of the film, before going back to the beginning and telling the story of what happened, leading up to the opening scene in the film before moving on to the ending. The beginning acts as a prologue, and from there, the film is split into three parts; the beginning, where we meet the characters and the scenario is set up for the audience, the middle, where the main characters wake up and realise that their friend is missing, and the ending, where the problem is resolved, and all loose ends are tied up.
In terms of style, the film is bright and colourful, which is usually found in comedy films to reflect the nature of the content, and the ending is positive, as the characters managed to solve the problems that they faced in the film, as well as reinforcing the characters relationships that initially were problematic.
From a technical aspect, the film uses standard shots, like medium-close ups, and establishing shots to introduce the settings. However, in the second act of the film, when the characters wake up and take in the chaos that their room is in, the camera is either attached to the actor, or they are holding the camera, as it is shaky and gives a disorientated view of the character walking around and waking up. This gives the audience the feeling of drunkenness and confusion, which is what the character is feeling as well. Colour tinting is used in the film to emphasise that it takes place in Las Vegas, and also the desert just outside of the city, with an orange tint, to reflect the sandy locations, as well as the casinos and joints that they visit, to reflect the artificial lighting that it all around in the city. Fast paced cutting is used to capture the attention of the audience and to help with the comic timing of gags used in the film. It also serves to add to the urgency near the end of the film, where the characters are rushing to get to the wedding in time.
The film affected the culture of future comedy films as it set a standard in which the format is changed up and doesn’t follow all the usual rules. Often in cinema, when a certain style of film becomes popular, many other films in that style will be created to capitalise on the popularity of that style. This is just an example of how the public can influence the culture of comedy films.

The film itself reflects some aspects of humanity through the characters, as each of the characters can be interpreted as personifications of human emotion or personality. Phil could represent laziness and rebellion, Stu personifies the sensible, worrying side of human nature, with a hidden side of mentality and Alan depicts the unpredictable side of humanity. When put together, the characters bounce off one another, or clashes, depending on the scenario. When the characters are introduced, they are purposely juxtaposed with their surroundings, e.g. Alan lives in an expensive estate, with an upper class family. This tells the audience that there is more to them than meets the eye, and to not make assumptions about the film. Although there is one main story of the characters looking for their friend, there are a few sub-stories that run through, from characters personal lives, to plot developments that branch off in a different direction to the main story. The film wraps up on a closed ending, although there were parts that could lead on to a sequel, in a different manner than the original.

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