In the opening scene of the film, FBI agent in training Clarice Starling, is climbing a rope alone up a steep incline hand-over-hand.This is a perfect metonymic element into the struggles the Agent Starling will face throughout this film.
The gun gives off quick flashes of light for the viewer to see the fear on Clarice’s face.
This is one of the most compelling scenes in the film due to the choice of lighting, because of the dramatic tension it creates.
I believe the scene in which Agent Starling shoots and kills the serial murderer, “Buffalo Bill,” where total darkness gives way to light is symbolic of Agent Starling’s triumph over the struggles, which she faced throughout the film.
The use of metonymy, color, and lighting by Jonathan Demme in “The Silence of the Lambs” creates heightened dramatic tension throughout the film.
We first learn that the professional struggle she faces is working with a brilliant, murderous cannibal in trying to gain insight which will enable the FBI to capture the serial killer, “Buffalo Bill.” Later we learn, after “Buffalo Bill” had claimed his next victim that her personal struggle deals with the death of her father who was also a cop and killed in the line of duty.
The funeral of one of “Buffalo Bill’s ” victims brings back the memory of her father’s funeral.
In the film “The Silence of the Lambs” directed by Jonathan Demme, there are some visual elements created to heighten the dramatic tension of the film, as well as convey the psychology of the characters throughout the film.
The opening scene of the film with FBI agent Clarice Starling, played by Jodie Foster, climbing up a training rope is one of the key scenes in portraying the personal struggle she faces of losing her father and the professional struggle of catching a serial killer. Hannibal Lecter, played by Anthony Hopkins, combines and explains the struggles of Agent Starling define the journey embarked upon in this film.
The only way the viewer is able to see is through the eyes of “Buffalo Bill” who is wearing night vision goggles that give off a green tint.
When we finally see light, it is from the shots fired by Agent Starling’s gun.