The film, that I going to discuss is Michael Hoffman’s, 1999 production of “A Mid Summers Nights Dream. ” I am going to focus on Act two, Scene one, were the characters of Titania and Oberon are introduced. Shakespeare’s plays were intended for the stage, I thought that the film version helped me rather than reading the book because it added atmosphere, the filmic interpretation brings visual and sound effects to the key words of the play. I am going to focus on the two characters Titania and Oberon and discuss their relationship. They are the fairy King and Queen played by Michelle Pfeiffer and Kevin Kline.
These actors were ideal for these positions because Michelle Pfeiffer, the Queen is always portrayed as a strong female who is very dominant in her films such films are “Dangerous Minds” and “One Fine Day. ” Kevin Kline the other leading role was well suited for his character because he usually plays a character that is a bit of a ladies man; in his films like “Ideal husband” and my “Best friends Wedding, ” the role in this film is no exception. The film has a PG certificate, which allows the film to focus at a wide age group because it has been changed into modern day for the younger audience to understand better.
It also has a mystical, magical theme to it, and this age group can enjoy it. The fairies were first introduced after the turmoil of the mortal world. It first showed them happily having a party with twinkled music then moves to when Titania and Oberon meet. Just before they meet Puck, Oberon’s fairy, finds out that the fairy king and Queen are going to bump into each other unintentionally, this is the first hint that they are not speaking you can tell this by the look of fear on Pucks face this is shown by a close up shot on the camera.
The second thing to show that the couple were not on speaking terms was when they met and the weather got considerable disrupted and unpleasant. There was lighting, mist, rain and strong winds showing that to a degree they control the weather. The mortal and fairy world was shown disturbed by the bad weather when the rocks fell in on them and wreaked the fairies party. Due to all this action the camera emphasised it by using frantic camera movement to all the surroundings of the forest, also the music changes to a fast beat rhythm with a scary feel to it.
Titania is introduced in a long camera shot to show the background and all her fairies carrying her in her carriage this shows her importance. The point of her being carried in was to show power they also show this by the colours of her clothes by using rich colours such as, blue and gold. At this point the music has an oriental tone to it. During this scene the camera uses a close up shot of Titania’s face but they only let you she it slightly through a mesh material, you can clearly she her crown at this stage, which tell us she is the Queen.
Then the camera moves onto a mid shot of Oberon sitting in his throne, they do this type of shot to make him appear dominate and also to capture the background and himself, the colours of his clothes are rustic colours to give a rich look, this also gives the impression he is important. The both fairies have glitter on their face to show they are magical, but also this effect is good for the camera and catches the light. Oberon is the first of them to talk his voice is a deep and powerful with a angry tone to it, ‘Ill met by moonlight; proud Titania. ‘
Soon after this his voice changes to a sensitive one this is when he is asking Titania for the boy. After all that Oberon magically move into Titania’s carriage this is when the camera starts to move around the both of them as they are talking, this adds atmosphere, it then goes to a point of view shot for Oberon to show what he is seeing, after that Titania is talking about the Indian boys mother the camera is on a close up shot of her face to show her strong emotions about this subject, this is done well and it even shows how she trembles with angry.
Then it moves to a low angle shot of her on the side of the mountain holding the Indian boy in her arms and she talks to Oberon with a very powerful voice and suddenly the fairies and her disappear into little sparkling lights during it the music that was used was quite creepy with a slow quite beat to it. Then the camera moves down to Oberon on the ground with a high angle shot he is sitting in the dirt at this stage this effect of the camera represents Oberon as small, because the surroundings are in the shot so he looks tiny.
Then the camera does a close up of Oberon’s face saying how he is going to get her back, this lets you see how annoyed he is. Shakespeare’s are intended for the stage and this one is no exception, Hoffman portrayed these characters very well he made it extremely clear at the start of the scene that they did not have a good relationship, by the use of camera angles and the tone of there voices and the words that they both use, and settings and what happened.
They are both represented as strong, stubborn people and that is why they are fighting. The entrance of the two characters was dramatic and that was also how the act ended. Hoffman mostly made us, concentrate on how powerful they both were, and also that they were the King and Queen, and how they had supernatural powers. I think it shows that Titania is the more dominate character out of them though, as it portrays her this way through the act.