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lady from shanghai

lady from shanghai - Writing 3020 The portrait painted by...

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Writing 3020 The portrait painted by filmmaker Orson Welles in his film The Lady from Shanghai is impressively romantic and appropriately larger than life. As would be expected from the man who made the great Citizen Kane or terrified the country with his War of the Worlds radio broadcast, the spirit of The Lady from Shanghai reflects the craft of an innovative visionary. To state in brief, the movie works. Everything fits despite the grandeur and scale. Within the scope of the movie there is romance, deception and conspiracy, fitting of film noir. But Welles embarks his viewers on a voyage across culture and indeed around the world. He weaves a story that may fall short of quintessential noir, yet Welles' film satisfies viewers with the complementary functions of personalities and dazzling sets. The Lady from Shanghai is a beautiful film, though it is not merely a typical noir. Mike O' Hara, the Black Irish protagonist played by Welles himself, is neither hard boiled nor obsequiously engrossed to the femme fatale, Rosalie. His assertions that he is infatuated with her are opposed by his ostensible desire to quit working for the Bannisters and his accurate belief that Rosalie had framed Mike from the beginning. Furthermore, his declaration early in the film that Rosalie could fool a husband and consequently him precludes any surprise moment of deception. Rosalie, for her part is stunningly beautiful and so utterly convincing as an innocent damsel in distress. She is introduced as a lady in white, a princess in a carriage, and is revealed later to be a woman forced into an unhappy marriage. That her twist in character and final revelation as being a villain is odd, forced, and sedated, especially when considering the chemistry and on-screen romance between Mike and her. The story elements of noir lack the force and tension that would drive the plot toward a rewarding climax. The ending is pleasing
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only because the personalities blend brilliantly with the aesthetic mood of the settings. In this
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