Thursday, 3 November 2011

Homeland: Opening Title

Opening Title of Homeland (Showtime)

When I think of an opening title review, I do it two ways, the conscious and the unconscious, to say the least, the cinematic and the information that’s coming along the way with that, meaning reading between the lines and not just literally watching, but going underneath and thinking about the metaphor.

The cinematic of Homeland’s opening title is undeniable. In it you can see a sequence of photographs and short videos, between 55 and 65 shots of plenty information of the show. On one side, you have Claire Danes’s character since she was a child in front of the tv, probably listening to the radio, perhaps reading papers, hearing her parents talk about the news, whatever it is, you mention it, you just get to see how we are constantly bombarded from all of these mass communication medias that are trying to control our lives and define what we should think, she is just standing there in the middle of all that happening around her, to grow old with the idea of stopping anything bad from happening.

You see many representative characters that whisper in her ears what’s going on, talking about terrorism and adding adjectives to it and implying that it must be stopped at any cost; buildings blowing up; chaos all around; people running and screaming; how the Army, National Guard, all the Intelligence Agencies are constantly watching…

On the other side, we have this massive labyrinth which could literally mean the world we live in, and then inside it we have the two main characters, Carrie and Brody, that somehow will meet up, that somehow their choices in life will make them turn over and confront each other in one, two, three, countless opportunities; and could probably mean that they are going to be playing cat and mouse, so one of them is going to be chasing the another one, or they both will play cat a the same time without knowing it.

I look at this Opening Title and I think about as a group of images that summarize the entire show. Claire being molded and programmed into this perfect  counterterrorism machine (whom in fact is far from perfection in her private life and makes decisions based on her judgment and listens to nobody) that will protect her homeland and Brody being labeled as a POW that will remain living behind that and could probably be lying at some point… Who knows? And there exactly is the beauty, you have hints everywhere but you will never be sure of any of that because they have managed to keep us thinking and not making up our minds about anything.

The most intriguing line that I find interesting in the title and line of which completely matches Carrie’s goal is: “I’m just making sure we don’t get hit again”. The point of the title is so we can get to know more of the show, and yet again we are introduced to tons of Carrie’s info, her growing up and her intentions, but we do not know of Brody, he is a big, massive, gigantic question mark. We know nothing about his previous life (previous life I mean before he was captured), how he was, why did he become a Marine, his interests… We know nothing! And there is revealed nothing! Nothing! It is somehow disturbing that he is so likeable and so dangerous at the same time, which makes him so appealing to Carrie and to us, because we get to know him as soon as she is discovering his game.

Carrie and Brody: opening title (Showtime)

Opening titles are and will always mean the world to a tv show and you can immediately like or dislike forever a series by it, and in the case of Homeland, it’s exactly the same, so if you think that it’s disturbing, well it is; if you think that it’s lame, well I tell you: look at it again and again…

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