Brief Encounter Part 3

Laura on trainAlthough made by a male director and a male screenwriter, Brief Encounter includes a groundbreaking use of flashbacks as a way to access a woman’s psyche, a new experience for audiences in 1945. Brief Encounter’s flashbacks don’t distance the viewer as in other films but rather bring the viewer into Laura’s mind completely. This component makes the film especially meaningful for women, although there are some instances where Laura’s narrative reliability could be questioned, especially when she possibly overestimates how much other people, especially authority figures, suspect her.

However, there is one scene in Brief Encounter that is a logical flaw in relation to how flashbacks should work. It’s the scene between Alec and his colleague, Dr. Stephen Lynch, whose flat Alec wants to use to be with Laura. When Stephen arrives unexpectedly, Laura leaves through the service exit and therefore, can’t know what Alec and Stephen say after she leaves. All other scenes up to this point have been in her presence.

Next to be discussed will be Brief Encounter’s music, which is very connected to the use of flashbacks. 


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