Week 6:Character and Emotional Response in the Cinema’ and use his model of “recognition-alignment-allegiance” to analyse a film of your choice


Analysis of Wandering In the Fog

Many studies use cognitive approach to create sympathy and to make the audience engaged in films. For discussing how cognitive approach and engagement in real and fictional players, the paper analyses the  in 2010. The analysis will be based on the model of recognition-alignment-allegiance by Murray Smith in his article “Altered States: character and emotional response in the cinema” (Smith, 1994).

According to Murray, people identify with character whether real or fictional based of sympathy structure. The sympathy structure involves all the sense of identification that makes one to quickly identify with and respond to a fictional player. Murray believed that sympathy structure includes three aspects, recognition, alignment, and allegiance.

The title of the film wandering in the Fog give an early clue to the environment of the film, and the narrative qualities are. For example, the movie start with a man’s voice later revealed as “Amin” (Smith, 1994). Contrary to spectator’s recognition of the lead character as an unreliable person, the name “Amin” means honest and reliable. The composer here uses an irony as an element to make the audience to identify the protagonist in the role that he plays and creates an imaginary individual in the mind of the public as a fabricated person and one who has forgotten his life history.

The audience is further aligned with the protagonist’s viewpoint and through his experience of learning new things to fill his erased memory. For example, the life experience of Amin where he searches for his life story using mixed combination of colours remind him of his early childhood life and his neighbour (Smith, 1994). Amin, through imaginations, makes up an image of “Roya a lady he had known when growing up. As such the audience are made to recognize Roya as Amin’s wife (Smith, 1994). As the story progresses, the audience is allied to the main character who narrates who his life has been up due to his unstable mind.



Smith, M. (1994). Altered States: Character and Emotional Response in the Cinema. Cinema Journal, 33(4), 34. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1225898


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