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'A Most Wanted Man': A Body Language NLP Analysis Of Philip Seymour Hoffman's Last Starring Role

10/09/2014 14:14 BST | Updated 10/09/2014 14:59 BST

'A Most Wanted Man', starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, hits cinemas this Friday. The film is based on the thriller novel, of the same name, by John Le Carre' and follows a German anti-terror unit tracking a illegal immigrant on the run from Russian intelligence.

We've spoken to Neuro Linguistic Programmer Claire Boyle, to help us dig a little deeper into the mind set of the characters by looking at not only what they say but also their body language, in these two exclusive clips.

Clip 1

0.01 The scene begins with Bachmann asking Annabel the question "Do you know where you are?" Bachmann's tone is impatient and authoritative. Whilst the words themselves are a question they are delivered as a statement, with the subtle intimation of a veiled threat. Bachmann is in close physical proximity to Annabel bringing the full weight of his words to her attention. In contrast to his intimidating tone, Bachmann's head is tilted conveying an air of inquisitiveness, curiosity and empathy. His physiology is imposing but open whilst his use of language is commanding and congruent. His overall demeanor gives the impression that he is well rehearsed in this scenario, has a job to do and does not intend to waste time in achieving his outcomes.

0.22: Bachmann is beginning to stand as he finishes the sentence “You’ve crossed the line, you are on their side now”. He is linguistically delivering a definitive statement as to Annabel's position from his perspective. His timing as he rises implies this is a strategy he is practiced in. He wants Annabel to think he believes this statement. In order to deny Annabel the opportunity to reply he mismatches her by physically standing and immediately exiting the room, leaving Annabel to contemplate the potential consequences of her current situation.

0.38 Annabel wraps her coat tightly around her and crosses her arms adopting a protective and possibly defensive position, withdrawing into her own space. Her brow is furrowed in a worried expression and the position of her mouth and chin indicate an attempt to suppress or not convey her true emotions.

Clip 2

0.20 Irna Frey states “Issa must be worried sick, wherever you’ve hidden him”, to which Annabel momentarily flinches and closes her eyes as though the thought is overwhelming and difficult to process.

0.29 When Irna Frey delivers the line “He’s probably wondering if you’re ever coming back”, Annabel’s breathing immediately becomes more rapid and moves higher up in her chest suggesting an automatic response in the body to be highly alert, guarded and ready to take action.

0.48 Bachmann paces up and down whilst observing Annabel on a screen. His relaxed posture and hint of a smile appear satisfied as though he is pleased with the way his strategy is playing out and quietly confident that he is on track to achieving his objective.

1.04 As Irna Frey speaks, Annabel shifts between listening to Irna Frey’s words and having a conversation with herself in her own mind. Throughout the scene Annabel says very little whilst constantly processing her internal thoughts. Her eyes appear to be recalling conversations and weighing up options.

1.10 As Irna Frey say’s “You see Annabel we’re not your enemy” she is shaking her head to reinforce the fact that they are ‘not’ the enemy. When she offers the statement “we’re your solution” she nods to send a sub-conscious signal to Annabel that her words are the truth and they are the solution.

1.15 Irna Frey attempts to build rapport and appear friendly by smiling at Annabel. However the expression is not congruent as she half smiles with her mouth whilst her eyes and face remain detached from emotion. As in the case of Bachmann, Irna Frey appears to be going through the motions as someone who is well rehearsed in carrying out her job.

Neuro Linguistic Programming is the mapping of the human experience. NLP presupposes that mind and body are one, and that language patterns along with our physiology give an insight into the internal thoughts and feelings which guide our behaviours.

'A Most Wanted Man' is in UK cinemas from Friday. Watch the trailer below...

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