Formalism in "Quantico"

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The film industry has evolved over the last century

From a small open state theatrical play to the multibillion-dollar technical screenplay, which encompasses a variety of various techniques and types of equipment when producing a film. Therefore, there have been a growing number of film critiques from multiple fronts within and outside the movie industry. The paper focus to critique the movie “Quantico” in relation to formalism theory.

Formalism theory

Formalists are film critiques that deploy the concept of formalist theory, which focuses on the technical, formal, and elements pertaining to a given film. For instance, formalists tend to criticize the lighting, sound, scoring, musical, shot composition, and effects in a given film. Ideally, formalist critiques consider the lack of or availability of synthesis of a number of elements in a given film. In the Quantico television series, the ‘shoot-out’ that captures Alex parish after she is set up for the bombing is notable for how various elements mechanize together to create an effect. The shot selection shifts from clearly-close to mid-tense; the size (length) of shots increases as the multiple sequences progress towards the beginning of the show in the first episode. Thus the combination of all the elements present in the film, which are combined rather than “individual” create a sense of tension. Additionally, the film’s cinematographic quality especially the “lighting” has appropriately been utilized to capture the various scenes and sequences that define the plot of the television series. Example, there is clarity of image hence making it easy for viewers to engage or relate with the various characters in the film.


Formalism in the film provides a unique approach that deploys both auteurist and ideological “sides” of criticism, where a unifying denominator for both methods in formalist theory is style.

September 25, 2023




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Film Analysis

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