'Moby-Dick' by Nigel Williams Essay example

'Moby-Dick' by Nigel Williams Essay example

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While it may appear to be a simple story on the surface, as with the novel, the latest film adaptation of ‘Moby-Dick’ as a two-part miniseries is more complex than what appears at face value to be just a simple whaling narrative. Although they may not be glaringly obvious, just as they were in the novel, included in the miniseries are a number of themes made relevant for an audience of the twenty-first century, which in turn give the miniseries a considerable level of complexity. These themes, including ideas of the conflict between vengeance and rationality, fate and the use of free will, the supernatural, the humane sides of people, and the place of man in nature all arise from the creative decisions made within the film, especially in areas of dialogue, acting, editing, and the use of special effects.

For many films, the majority of themes present are developed through the scripted dialogue between characters, with ‘Moby-Dick’ no exception to the rule. The screenplay of ‘Moby-Dick,’ written by Nigel Williams, was deliberately developed to use language familiar to a modern audience in order for themes to be represented easily, especially to those who are largely unfamiliar with the story of ‘Moby-Dick.’ As of this deliberate style of writing, one of the major themes that comes across the clearest is the theme of vengeance. From the beginning of the film onwards, Ahab’s vengeful intentions are made clear to the crew in his first address where he declares, “ I will not take it… I’d strike the sun if it insulted me.” It is interesting to note how to serve as a warning on following such intentions of others, Ahab’s vengeance and the effect it has to stir his crew into action is compared to the vengeance with which former US Pres...


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...h the special effects of the final scene where the thrash of the animated tail of Moby-Dick is able to destroy a the whaling boat and its rowers, reminding the viewer that man is insignificant in the scheme of his environment, and should therefore be respecting of it.





In conclusion, from the creative decisions behind the dialogue, acting, editing, and special effects of the latest screen adaptation of ‘Moby-Dick’ what seems on the surface to be a rather simple film is given an extra topical dimension. Through these creative decisions, themes such as vengeance, fate and the supernatural, humane sides to people, as well as the relationship between man and nature, are all explored, and while they are not presented as intricately as they are in the novel for the sake of a modern audience, still are able to give the film a considerable complexity of its own.

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