Despite working with low-budget and a small crew, Orson Welles makes his Othello interesting and memorable through several techniques. He generates a sense of suspense by placing the final scene in the beginning of the movie. When translating play into film, he creatively rearranges the scenes while keeping the text intact and shoots from odd angles to produce interesting lighting and shadows. Even though some of the characters in the film do not quite live up to the viewer's ideals of the characters, Welles's Othello still achieves remarkable success.
In order to accompany the powerful words of Shakespeare, Welles chooses to shoot from either slightly above the usual camera angle or below it to create a dramatic effect. As the movie begins, the cameras angled from the ground up to show off dark, sparsely clouded skies, and soldiers in dark silhouettes marching to a funeral. When Welles shoots the first scene between Othello and Desdemona, he chooses Venice, a traditionally romanticized city, to emphasize the early attraction between them. Although Welles often shoots conversations between a character and a shadow because he couldn't employ additional actors for certain characters in the play, his creativity is seen through his resourcefulness-which is crucial in the success of his Othello.
Another aspect of Othello's success is the soundtrack and background music. Welles doesn't choose random notes oblivious to the action and dialog they accompany. He uses recurring chords reminding the viewers about a certain theme. When watching the film, viewers regard the soundtracks and dialogs or actions as a whole because of the perfect blend.
In order to portray the characters in the play completely, actors should have complete knowledge of the dialogues and their meanings. Without this complete understanding, it is challenging for some of the actors to express the exact emotions the characters have accurately. For example, Michael MacLiammoir, who plays Iago in...
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