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A Critique of Sir Anthony Hopkins's Oscar winning performance of Hannibal Lecter in 'The Silence of The Lambs' - Essay Example

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Welsh born actor Anthony Hopkins was a well-known, talented actor on the stages of London and New York.However,his award winning performance of serial killer Hannibal Lecter in the 1991 Hollywood film,Silence of the Lambs,brought Hopkins immeasurable fame…
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A Critique of Sir Anthony Hopkinss Oscar winning performance of Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of The Lambs
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A Critique of Sir Anthony Hopkins's Oscar winning performance of Hannibal Lecter in 'The Silence of The Lambs'

Download file to see previous pages... 3 Hannibal was by all accounts an evil, savage, cannibal and serial killer and yet he became an enthralling, and often sympathetic character.4 The fact that a psychiatrist who murders and then eats his patients could become such a captivating character is puzzling.When Hopkins meets the FBI agent for the first time,I could not help thinking that he while he seemed to be toying with her,he had some degree of respect and suspicion in his interaction with her and Hopkins gave these impressions through body language and inflection.At one point he winked at her as if to share a private joke and at another point,he smiled at her,giving the impression that he had normal feelings.In my opinion, Hopkins brought a very complex character to life in a realistic and convincing way.Lecter was “psychopathic personality evidenced by his superficial charm,manipulativeness and lack of remorse of empathy for the victims”.For example, when the agent interviewing Lecter mentioned that serial killers usually kept a relic of their victims, Lecter interjected, “I didn’t” in a matter of fact way. ...
After all, Lecter was previously portrayed by actor Brian Cross and introduced him to the screen, it was Hopkins’ Lecter that made the greatest impression and immortalized him.7 Hannibal Lecter was a brutal cannibal and there was nothing sympathetic about the character and it was not intended that Lecter was sympathetic. Lecter is “revoltingly evil, a characterization brought chillingly to life for millions by Anthony Hopkins” in Silence of the Lamb.8 For example when discussing the murder of a former patient, Lecter denies killing his patient but states without emotion that it was best for him “as his therapy was going nowhere anyway”. However, Barr explains that Hopkins was brilliant in how he chose to play Lecter.9 Hopkins portrayed an ordinary man who did extraordinary deeds and came across as a man you would not run away from if you happened to come across him on the streets. I observed this in his demeanour as he urged the FBI agent in training to show her credentials and when she did, he urged her to come closer, as if he did not think she should fear a man like him. In other words, Hopkins played Lecter as though, Lecter thought of himself as normal and this brought both sympathy to the character and made him likable and evil all at the same time. One acting technique that Hopkins brought to the character of Lecter was his refusal to judge the character. As Hopkins himself said: …As an actor, I can’t judge because moral judgement gets in the way of the characterization. If you start doing that, you end up playing the character like a zombie or a vauderville villain.10 In other words, Hopkins took and inside-out approach to his portrayal of Lecter. He portrayed the character by ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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