Comparing Two Film Versions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Comparing Two Film Versions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Introduction

The two films we have been asked to compare are both different

versions of

‘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.

Setting

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

films.

Conclusion

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.

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