Me and Orson Welles (2008) Review


A teenager Richard (Zac Efron) is cast in a Mercury Theatre production of “Julius Caesar” in 1937, with Orson Welles (Christian McKay). This film follows Richard from being cast to opening night, and what happens to him in between.

This film shows Orson Welles mainly through the eyes of a young actor who was cast in his latest theatre production. Richard is seen growing up in a couple of weeks during the rehearsal process of the play and seeing Orson in action. How he got people to do what he wanted when he wanted, and if they did not like that they would not work with him ever again. He wanted people to tell him what he wanted to hear, even if this meant lying. He liked very much to be told he was fantastic. Richard quickly finds out that a life in the theatre is not exactly how he imagined it to be.

Richard’s relationship (if you can call it that) with Sonja shows how naive he is, when he actually believes that she could be in love with him. Her real interests are making herself more well-known and getting to know people who are of high standing in the theatre and even Hollywood.

The film did not seem like it would actually see release at the cinema but eventually it did in the UK last week, I do not really see it doing that well at the box office because of the subject of the film. Maybe Zac Efron will pull in some of the younger people but I do not think they will find this entertaining enough compared to his other films. I have to admit that I was quite surprised that I liked this film a lot, I thought it looked entertaining in the sense of seeing what happens behind the scenes of a Broadway/Theatre production. Yes I do like to watch things like this and see the motions actors/directors etc go through when preparing for a production.

I had heard that Zac Efron’s performance has surprised a lot of people and also it has been claimed that this role has taken him away from his HSM fame and type of performance. I have to totally agree with this it is a different performance from Efron and really has shown a glimpse of what type of actor he can be, the potential he has lets just hope he continues to grow as an actor and chooses roles like this one to really help prove himself.

Christian McKay as Orson Welles was truly remarkable, and looked a lot like him at times as well which was just fantastic. He commanded the scenes in which he was in all the time and really grabbed the attention of the audience. It was such a brilliant breakout role and he has been nominated for awards.

Overall, I really enjoyed this film and found that it really flew over as you got totally consumed into the production and wanting to know how it will go, will something go wrong, will everything be perfect etc. Which I think is a good way to have a film, when you are not entirely sure in which direction it is going in.

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