In the film “Dark Horse” directed by James Napier Robertson the character Genesis Potini has been kicked out of a chess competition because he was repetitively speaking out of turn. This is also the scene where Michael wins the chess competition. Robertson uses this scene to reinforce a sense tension, nervousness and mental instability in Genesis. He does this with the techniques of body language, sound effects, camera movement and dialogue.
Robertson uses body language and camera movement to show stress and nervousness. The stress is shown in Genesis as he paces back and forth in front of the chess club after he has been kicked out of the final for speaking repeatedly. This is a common and well-recognized for a reaction of stress he has for Micheal in the final. Earlier in the film in the film we learnt that this could cause Gen to have a mental break down and that sets the audience on edge. Robertson also uses sound effects to create a sense of nervousness when the scene is coming to a close and the crowd in the chess hall is applauding. This means that the game is over and someone has won. Gen doesn’t enter but he is waiting for someone to come and tell him to come and get him and say the result. As he waits, it also builds the tension again for the viewer as they also wait to hear the result.
Another technique that Robertson used to create tension, mental instability and nervousness was camera movement. The camera follows Genesis as he paces back and forth in front of the chess club. This encourages the viewer to feel nervous because it is like the viewer is also pacing with Gen and so it feels like the viewer is also there. It shows Genesis is nervous because it is how he acts in a situation like this and is also the stereotypical way of showing nervousness. Another technique to create tension and nervousness and show mental instability by Robertson is dialogue. The dialogue shows the mental instability of Genesis because once he is outside he starts telling a nonexistent person how to play chess, this then becomes a constant mumbling until the camera cuts. The director uses this to reinforce the feeling of mental instability in genesis to the audience by using a stereotypical way of distinguishing those with mental differences. It also creates a sense of tension for the audience because they have seen one of his breakdowns and so they don’t want to see him breakdown at that crucial moment.
In conclusion Robertson uses the techniques of body language, sound effects, camera movements and the use dialogue to create a sense of tension, nervousness and mental instability. This adds to the overall feeling of un-sureness and awkwardness that Genesis feels and shows through out the film because of the discrimination towards those that aren’t the same or thought of as normal.