Films are a visual representation of the words in a screenplay. The director and actors of a film collaborate together to properly embody the characters the screenwriter had in mind when writing the script. The way a character is presented in the film influences the audience’s perception of the character. In the films Fargo and Casablanca, actors utilize various acting tools and character elements to influence the audience’s perception throughout the film.
There are various forms of acting an actor can choose to use in a given scene. Representational acting is when the actor decides to show a thought or emotion in terms of what it would look like using representative gestures. William H. Macy employs this style of acting in the movie Fargo. Macy’s character, Jerry Lundegaard, is furious that his father-in-law is unwilling to contribute to a real estate deal his character is unable to afford. Instead of displaying the anger solely in an internal fashion, the directors and Macy elected to also use big, physical movements. Macy rapidly scrapes the ice off his windshield in a manic manner and screams in the parking lot to express his anger (22:10). This form of acting is very visual and ensures that the audience understands the emotion a character is experiencing.
Presentational acting is a direct opposite of representational acting. Presentational acting is when the actor personalizes what is going on inside the character and presents the emotion as the real thing. There are not any extravagant movements to display the emotion. Humphrey Bogart elected to use this other style of acting in the film Casablanca. To exhibit his sadness, Bogart makes several minute movements. He looks down at the table and stares off into space for an extended period of time. In addition, he disregards the things that are going on around him (46:00). Since Bogart looks like a typical person who is sad, the audience is able to relate with his emotion and understand what his character is going through in that scene.
In films, there are different types of characters. The main characters are typically three-dimensional. They are fully fleshed out and identifiable by the audience. Meanwhile, minor characters tend to be two-dimensional. Two-dimensional characters possess only base emotions and are a caricature of a certain type. An example of a two-dimensional character is Peter Stormare’s character in Fargo. His character’s role in the film is simply to be a cold-blooded killer. Stormare fulfills this part by being silent and antisocial for most of the film. As a result, the audience is unable to learn or relate much with the character. In addition, Stormare stares at the other characters in the film in an intimidating fashion during the few times he actually acknowledges them (8:45). Later on in the film, his character brutally murders a police officer and shows no remorse for his actions. Stormare’s facial expression does not change and remains blank after the murder...