Hamlet Film Analysis

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Film Essay In each of the three versions of Shakespeare’s Hamlet that are reviewed, camera angle and lighting both play a prominent role in the development of the film. These aspects of the filmmaking process reflect the different interpretations of the play by the directors of each of these three films. In Broadway’s version of Hamlet both camera angle and lighting are used in order to help develop the scene of Ophelia’s funeral. When viewing the procession arriving, although it is unclear what is happening, the camera angle being at eye level allows for the viewer to see all of the actor at the same level as themselves. The director chose to use low key lighting as well. The low key lighting obscures the actors and makes it hard to see the action while presenting a dark, confused atmosphere that is meant to intensify the mood and provide a grave-like ambiance. When Hamlet and Horatio are trying to figure out who has died once they find Ophelia‘s funeral, low camera angle is used coupled with high contrast lighting. The mise-en-scene includes a dark, almost black background which sets the scene of the cemetery. The low angle of the camera shows close-ups of Hamlet and Horatio’s faces. The high contrast lighting allows only the faces of the two men to be seen; everything else in the scene is engulfed in darkness. This helps to create an air of tension and an ominous mood. While Gertrude gives her speech to Ophelia and slowly tosses her flowers onto Ophelia’s body, high contrast lighting and oblique camera angle are used. The oblique angle provides a transition, shifting the focus from Hamlet’s curiosity to Ophelia’s body. The high contrast lighting shows Ophelia in white and all others in black. The other people in the scene blend into the darkness allowing Ophelia to be the center of attention. Once Hamlet
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