Comparing Two Film Versions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
The two films we have been asked to compare are both different
‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. The first was a big screen
movie, by Michael Hoffman and made in 1998. This film was set in the
19th Century in the fictional city of Monte Athena and starred major
actors and actresses such as Sophie Marceau, Kelvin Klein, Rupert
Everett and Calista Flockhart. The second was a budget film made for
channel 4 by Royal Shakespeare Company. Adrian Noble was the producer
and the film was made in 1994. It was much more surrealistic because
this version of the film was based on a young boy’s dream.
The biggest difference between the two film is the setting and place.
The Hoffman film was filmed in Umbria, Italy, but the actual film was
set in the fictional city of Monte Athena. It is a very naturalistic
setting, and the scenes are very pretty. The fairy world is darker and
more mythical, and the ruined buildings make it look fantastic.
Nobles production shows a very bare stage, with very little
decoration, and only the bare minimum of props.
Lighting and Colour
In any film, lighting and colour are very important, as film is mainly
a visual form of media. In film A (By Dustin Hoffmann), the colours
are very naturalistic. They make use of pastel colours and scenic
shots. It has a sort of fantasy world quality.
In the fairy world of film A, there are mainly dark colours, while the
fairy’s clothes were bright, or, the fairies were represented as
pinpricks of light. It makes it seem almost exotic. The clothing …
… middle of paper …
… speech comes to an end,
you can see hatred in Oberons eyes.
In the Noble film, this is spoken with Puck and Oberon staring into a
diorama of a stage, with the little boy at the back, moving the
characters. Again, you can see the hatred in Oberons eyes, and the
little boy looks scared. This adds to the whole atmosphere of both
Both films were very good, but I prefer the Hoffman film as seems more
realistic, and it is more watchable than the Noble film, and requires
less knowledge of Shakespeare to understand, as well as being faithful
to the text. However, the Noble film is very good, and is even better
if you know about the play, and you can imagine the scenes and the
setting. Even though, I still prefer the realistic, naturalistic
Hoffman version, to the surrealistic dreamy Noble film.