In a crime drama film like Double Indemnity, visual experience is not the only key to deliver a clear vision of brutality and murderous acts made by the main characters in the movie. The importance of sound element can not be disregarded, as it supports the visuals presentation of the film. Thus, from a personal point of view, Wilder has done a sound direction in integrating both of the visual and sound element to produce distinct and powerful portrayal of each significant character in the movie.
For instance, human voice, as one of the essential sound elements in Wilder’s film, has been utilized to create an emphasis on the role of every character in the movie. This type of sound element helps differentiate the characters in terms of their age, gender and designation in the story. One good example of this is the difference between the human voice of Lola (the victim’s daughter) and Phyllis (the greedy and lustful widow of the victim).
From the sound of their voices, the audience can clearly understand their difference in terms of age and maturity. Lola’s voice sounds soft and innocent, which is perfect for a childlike character that she is portrays in the story. On the other hand, Phyllis’ voice sounds lustful and powerful, which is precise to render meaning on her role as the evil character in the story. More so, the element of sound, through human voice, has been used in Wilder’s film to give a clear picture of the feelings or emotions of the characters in the story.
In one scene wherein Neff (the insurance salesman), is selling an accident insurance to the victim, the sound human voice has helped depict a clear imagery of the emotional outburst of the victim. The sound of human voice has helped showed the victim’s infuriated feelings and disappointment, as he talks in a higher tone and often yell among the characters around him. Through this approach, sound has helped create and deliver a clear imagery of emotion in every scene. Also, the element of sound has been utilized in this film in order to support the movements of the characters.
Throughout the progress of events in the story, it is obvious that sound, through voice over, supports the movements and actions of the characters. For instance, Neff’s voice over in scenes wherein he is alone or busy walking the around their office is enough to provide sounds that would describe or clearly depict what he is thinking, which renders the appropriate meaning to his visual movement. Therefore, sound has also been utilized in this film in order to give meaning and life in every action that the characters are doing.