Film Notes

In Act 5 Scene 1 I quite enjoyed line
“why may not that be the skull of lawyer? Where be his quiddities now, his quillets,his cases, his tenures, and his tricks? why does he suffer this rude knave now to knock him about the sconce with a dirty shovel, and will not tell him of his action of battery?”. Lines 92-97. I felt that this described the burial well and expressed Hamlet’s emotions in a very raw way.


My Notes Reflection FILM vs TEXT

The best annotations come to mind when something we read catches our eye, or makes us think about or link two ideas together.

Reading something with a critical eye; that is, with an eye to look out for a deeper meaning or to develop a deeper understanding of the text is much different than reading something in a passive manner. For example, to read a romantic novel such as “Dear John” by Nicholas Sparks dear_john01 is in depth, but the words are exposed and they are very raw to the person who is reading the, so that we can easily understand what is happening in the text, and how it is meant to be interpreted. Actions, clothing etc; are described and we as readers are well able to picture them and understand the context in which the writer has meant us to read his/her text. This allows us to read passively, allowing the details to float into our minds and paint a picture for us.

To read Shakespeare, is more vague in a sense; a lot of the interpretation is left for us to determine ourselves. In order to do this its important to read critically, dig deep and look at the actual context in which his words are being written. To achieve a good understanding of this, it is important to actively read the text and while I’m reading,index I pay attention to the tone used, the rhyme if there is one, and to the diction of the text. If something stands out to me, for example, the context in which a particular word is used, or the tone in which something is said, while I’m reading it,  I tend to note down my observations in the margins of the book. I usually pin point the rhyme if there is one, by marking the highs and lows (in this case, of Shakespeare’s use of Iambic Pentameter). indexkI find it helpful to pay close attention to the entrance and exit directions in the play’s because this helps me as a reader to understand the context which the author is intending for their audience to perceive.


When I’m watching a film however, I’ve noticed that I find it extremely difficult to follow along with the text simultaneously. I think this is mainly a personal preference because when I read a text I develop my own interpretation of it and when I’m watching a movie, essentially I’m watching the director’s interpretation of the text. Usually this conflicts with mine, therefore I find it better to start fresh on a new piece of paper and take notes on the new take that I’m watching. ugiuhjklkl'l;khjbvcfghuhiop'; I find it quite helpful for me to read first and watch later because if I read first I am allowing my brain to get a grasp on the bigger picture and then allowing that picture to be altered by the movie and the director. I usually pay close attention to the way the scenes are shot, the camera work, the zooming in and out of a scene, who the camera is focused on, and how it captures the text and distinctively portrays certain characters. I like to watch most movies on my laptop at home and take my notes in a notebook with a pen and paper.

Something else I also notice, is that when I’m watching a film, I tend to focus first on analyzing the way the camera focuses on specific characters, in order to determine what kind what kinds of angles are used, the cinematography, the way in which the actors perform, how they’re dressed, their body language,etc. This helps me to determine the way in which the author represents and portrays the characters allowing us to visualize where his or her thought process is coming from.

All in all, I would most definitely say that I appreciate a written text much more than I appreciate film and even more than that I quite enjoy theatre. As a student who comes from a Musical Theatre background, I have experienced a vast majority of plays and I don’t think I could ever get enough 🙂



Much Ado About Nothing – Kenneth Branagh 1993 Film Review

The movie I have chosen to discuss is Much Ado About Nothing .This movie is directed by Kenneth Branagh and begins with a very lively, joyous outlook. The movie opens with such brightness(Act 1, Scene 1), where Beatrice is munching on grapes, and asking the messenger loaded questions and making jabs about Sir Benedick such as “I pray you, is Signior Mountanto returned from the wars or no?”( ll. 1.1.28-29) . At this point, everyone is chatting and poking fun at each other excited that Don Peter and his men will be arriving shortly. This scene sets a very relaxed, and fun tone almost as if to indicate to the readers that this story is indeed a happy one and not one of melancholy and deception.


The entire scene in which all the young men are riding in on their horses comes about solely through Branagh’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s text, as this is not something that was actually written in the script, and he sets the tone for the rest of his movie. The characters are dressed in all white (women) and white and black (men) running around excited to meet.

Shortly after Claudio’s proposal to Hero, the men find themselves bored having to wait an entire week until the wedding. At this point, they decide to make Benedick fall in love with Beatrice. This scene (Act 2 Scene 3)  is shot outside in the courtyard, which I personally feel was an excellent choice. In my opinion it shows the green grass and blooming flowers which almost add a “spring” feel that allows the audience to appreciate the flirting and joking even more. At this point,  where Benedick overhears Don Pedro and Claudio jestering about how Beatrice loves him unrequitedly he is attempting to set up a lawn chair in the grass and it becomes the  focus of the scene where he is able to use the prop to emphasize how flustered he is to hear this information,(cue the shocked face in the picture)maan6-1 . Branagh, has him fumbling with the lawn chair so many times he almost breaks it, falls over it, trips on it, and it seems that he’s acting this way to portray just exactly how shocking this information is to him. He says “ Is’t possible? Sits the wind in that corner?” (2.3.917) and this, I feel has been depicted very well. The idea that Beatrice loves him with “all her heart” is so foreign to him that he begins to alter his mindset and opinion about her and how much he hates her, and instead comes at her with an open heart so as to accept the love she is offering.

The wedding scene between Claudio and Hero(Act 4 Scene 1), I felt was one that was a demerit of this movie. The camera tends to focus in on the reaction of the father so much more, 11252after Claudio storms off and I don’t feel that in the text this is what it was meant to be portrayed as. In my opinion, there was more emphasis on Leonato’s reaction rather than Hero’s reaction herself, and I wonder if focusing on her reaction would have been better because she was essentially being accused of being unfaithful. Her emotions would likely be very high considering that she was being accused by the one person she was so happy to be married to, in love with, and so adored by. I’m curious as to why Branagh chose to depict the father’s disappointment in her so much more greatly than her own disappointment,by showing him grabbing her aggressively, and yelling profanities “Do not live, Hero; do not ope thine eyes: For, did I think thou wouldst not quickly die, Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames and disappointments at her” (ll. 4.1.1772-1775). Hero’s sadness, grieving, and reaction was barely captured in the scene. The camera shot of her “fainting” was so quick i felt that it was overlooked and I was quite disappointed by this as it seems like she fainted and immediately recovered without so much as water splashed on her face. I feel the interpretation of this scene could have been done better, in terms of the camera focus and the depiction of her expression of emotion.I would have liked to see the guests at the wedding react more, and less of Claudio breaking things. I do however, adore the scene following the wedding, for its cinematography where Beatrice asks Benedick to kill Claudio. The dramatization, and acting were very realistic and the tone in which the words were spoken, with urgency, fear and intensity was very captivating. Specifically Beatrice’s reaction of pushing Benedick away when he hesitated to agree to her request of killing Claudio was perfectly executed.muchado02

Rehana M