The psychological prison is a representation of an emotional state. It’s often portrayed by boxing a character in using the image frame, as we’ve discussed in the other parts of this analysis. However, there is another famous technique where the surroundings or the lighting can be used to actually look like bars (i.e. prison bars). In film school, we studied The 400 Blows. This film has a very famous final frame:
At the end of the film, the main character (a young teenage boy) runs away to the seashore (a barrier… it’s not like he can swim away from his troubles). He realizes he has nowhere else to go, he is trapped/imprisoned by his situation in life. He turns and faces the camera and the words “the end” appear over his face like prison bars.
“The Lawless” does something similar. After Kenobi and Satine are captured by Maul, Obi-Wan is often surrounded by long vertical lines:
In the following shot, not only are there vertical bars created by the designs on the windows, but the Dark Saber and the guard’s legs create an even tighter prison around Obi-Wan. As Satine gets closer to death, Kenobi’s internal prison grows more suffocating…
… until the guard’s legs literally cover Obi-Wan, placing him fully behind bars (leg bars…but bars all the same):