After Charlie Chaplin is released from the hospital after his breakdown, he is advised by the doctor to “take it easy and avoid excitement”. This advice is contrasted with images from the city in chaos, with loud noises and heavy machinery of the city. These images are superimposed on top of each other, emphasizing the chaos and amount of information more, and blending in and out of each other very quickly.
Afterwards, Charlie Chaplin is walking calmly down the sidewalk, but these previous scenes of the images foreshadow that something chaotic is going to happen. In this scene, Charlie Chaplin is walking calmly and looking at his surroundings, there are a few people in the road but not too many, and there isn’t that much happening. Charlie is walking with no intention of going anywhere, since now that he has a job he has nothing to do.
The next shot is of the back of a truck, with a flag hanging lose on the back side, and the shot is from the truck’s perspective. The flag is hanging on the truck for a few seconds, and then it falls to the street. The camera then moves from the truck’s perspective to a more open view of the city, and then Charlie is on the scene, he spots the flag falling, and he runs towards it, waving at the truck to stop. The camera is still form the truck’s perspective, moving away as it drives on. Charlie then picks up the flag and waves again at the flag, and the camera is now refocused on Charlie on the street. The streets are now with a few more people walking around, and suddenly a big group of people in a protest comes in from behind Charlie and start marching down the street. The people are also waving flags in protests and holding signs, and as they get closer to Charlie, they almost blend in with Charlie’s own movement, looking as if he is walking along with the people in the protest, and leading them. Charlie never looks back, so he never realizes that there is a big protest going on behind them.
Suddenly, he sees something in front of him and starts getting scared, and it is the police that are running towards him. The screen is filled with people running around everywhere, and then two policemen catch him and we get a black screen saying, “So you’re the leader”.
This scene shows how innocent Charlie Chaplin is, and how in his mind he is trying to do something nice, but he is naïve about the entire situation, and doesn’t realize that he got into trouble.