There was a pivotal scene in the movie “Gangs of New York” by Martin Scorsese where Amsterdam (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) saves the gang leader Bill “The Butcher” Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis) from an assassination attempt. Amsterdam semi-blocks a gun shot directed to Cutting, which still wounds him, during a theater production in The Five Points of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. Amsterdam then shoots and kills the man who attempted the assassination. Cutting appreciates him and praises him, but Amsterdam then leaves and is distraught over what he has done. He has protected the man that killed his father, who he shall get his vengeance on in the end.
What I liked about this scene, like many other indoor scenes in this movie, is the lighting. Back in the late 1800’s when the events of the movie took place, there weren’t any electric lamps, and fire was the main source of light. I feel that the low lighting in this movie really highlighted the historical accuracy of it, and it also helped the depiction of the characters. Amsterdam is caught between well-lit areas and places with low lighting, which helps convey his role in the movie as a man secretly pretending to be part of a rival gang just to be able to avenge his fathers death, caught between good and bad.