The above file is a basic reminder of how to approach an analysis essay. 'Top Gun' is the film referred to but the same applies for any text studied.

1) READ the question carefully and make sure you answer it!
2) Remember to include EVIDENCE to back up your ideas.
3) You must use TECHNICAL terms, don't just describe what you have seen.
4) leave enough time to proof read your answer.
5) In the scenario question ensure you answer as if you will be producing a text. i.e. "I will make this text in the medium of film..."

The following essay is an example of a successful NAB fiction analysis essay:

Unit assessment – Fiction – Intermediate 2

The film is a genre hybrid the genres involved are mystery/horror/psychological. An example of mystery in the film is the fact that there is a detective, Hobbes, solving the case so there is a mystery to solve. The horror in the film is the fact that the murderer likes to carve symbols and numbers into their victims body this is slightly gory a key element in a horror film. The film verges on psychological when we find out that we are dealing with a demon e.g. Azazel. This is a thing only imagined in our minds but now it seems to be real giving us a psychological feel. Each of these different genres will attract a different audience. The film also makes an attempt at a love interest between Hobbes and Greta for example when Hobbes goes to Greta for help. This ‘Love’ interest could attract a female audience to the film. All these different audiences will mean more money is brought in.

The film does not rely on its stars (as none of them were well known at the time) to bring in the audience. It relies on its intricate, complex and intriguing plot. For example throughout the film there is lots of enigma and hooks to keep the audience going. The plot follows a police detective (Hoobes) as he catches a serial killer. However once the killer is executed, very similar crimes are still taking place. As Hobbes continues the case he becomes stuck in a riddle of letters and numbers and realises that he is being framed for the murders by a supernatural force known as Azazel. Hobbes kills an innocent man and loses his brother to this evil force. Eventually Hobbes goes to Azazel to try and beat him at his own game however things go awry as Hobbes dies and Azazel lives on. The enigma in the film is “Who is committing the crimes?” Then the question is “Will Hobbes defeat Azazel?” The hooks that keep the audience hooked are “Will Hobbes and Greta get together?” and “Does Azazel exist?” This great plot keeps the audience going to the very end and has some great surprises along the way.

What separates this film from others is that it does not follow the classic narrative of good defeats evil. It is the complete opposite. However this may not satisfy some members of the audience. Some of the audience may like this twist and pass on by word of mouth how different the film is. It may also encourage them to see it again.

The film uses smoke to represent Azazel and evil. The first appearance of this is in the opening titles as they come in and drift away like smoke. Smoke is also used in the narrative to show how Azazel moves e.g. He could be there but you wouldn’t know it and he can just drift wherever he likes. An example of this is when Hobbes is in the bar and all the smoke is just floating and drifting around him. However the fact that Azazel is evil and he is represented by smoke could mean that smoke is evil and this could be offensive to any smokers in the audience.

In the film they use bars to represent entrapment. This is shown in the narrative when Reese reaches through the bars to touch Hobbes almost as if Azazel is escaping. It is also shown in Hobbes office when the sun shines in and casts shadows of bars across Hobbes face by the window blinds. This makes Hobbes seem like he can’t escape, he is trapped. The audience may be able to relate to this feeling of entrapment.

The film is quite difficult to understand and makes you think at points, with its intricate narrative so this could put off a younger audience who want to see an easy going film.

This essay was awarded an A band 1 However a couple of points have been omitted: What is the name of the film and who directed, starred etc? What institutions were involved?
Remember – NAB requirements are less than the analysis requirements in the actual exam.