Double Indemnity – An Analysis



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Double Indemnity – An Analysis

            Double Indemnity is an example of a film noir. This comprises various crimes perpetuated by the characters. The year of release of this movie is 1944. This film carries a dark tone in both its visual and thematic presentation. In its visual presentation, the lighting is sparse, and characters are shown to be under shadows and in darkness. This symbolises a form of danger in the characters’ environment. The danger is form of corruption, violence, and mystery, even as the film is characterised by people with ambiguous behaviours and questionable motives.

There exists an anti-hero in the film, as well as a femme fatale, who is overly seductive, and is partly responsible for the fall of the hero. Phylis Dietrichson is the femme fatale in this film. She is beautiful and powerful, even though she is portrayed as helpless at some point. She comes out as a manipulative, evil, and as a sexually assertive woman. She is responsible for the death of her husband, Dietrichson. Greed drives her and Walter to murder Dietrichson, in order to inherit his wealth.

This film is full of struggles, as different characters struggle and manoeuvre their ways into achieving their desires. They do not consider the ways they use to get what they want. Any way that can help them get their wants is used, even if it means shedding blood, as long as it takes them where they want to be. Thus, Phylis kills her husband to get wealth. She also killed Dietrichson’s wife to marry Dietrichson. Ironically, Walter kills Phylis in the end when he finds out about every detail of Phylis’ dark side. Walter is the anti-hero, since he too is doomed, after reporting himself to the insurance office. Nonetheless, the struggle portrayed by characters in this film somehow reflects life in the USA after WW2, whereby Americans needed to survive at all cost, to keep the American Dream alive.

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