I've not hidden my indifference to Shakespeare in
the past, so why do it now? Additionally, this seems
as good a time as any to explain why. First of all, I
go to movies (or plays) to be entertained. That's the
premo reason, if I'm nudged to think or learn
something -- great, but I've got to be entertained.
Shakespearean presentations have seldom amused me in
the past. What enjoyment I take from them, I feel as
though I must painfully extract by listening so
intensely acute to each word and twist of words to
find that ironic chime, that back-flipping pun, that
sharply bitter double-edged phrase that slices a
sweetly sour realization in my brain. When "I get it"
it's good. And I'm sure there's so many more juicy
whammy's to "get", and that's precisely why I feel
frustrated and worn out by these presentations. "Oh
just give me Bruce Willis with an automatic weapon!"
I cry in exhaustion.
Now, that's not to say "Shakespeare sucks!", no.
In fact, I think I may even be saying, "Shakespeare
(in this day and age) is way too clever for a two
hour presentation." There are so many plays on words
and devilishly chosen couplings of utterances, that
it seems one has no chance of absorbing them all. I
find it simply overwhelming, dare I say overbearing
in a showing.
Perhaps, on paper... unraveling at my own pace,
not the directors. Like the poetry that it is,
perhaps with the time to ruminate at my necessity,
then I might be able to better enjoy the embedded
Alas, I'm not reviewing this extended poem on
parchment -- I'm reviewing a film on the same screen
that I see flicks like "T2", "The Matrix", and "The
Titanic." In that vain, I found the language tedious.
It's like re-writing "When Harry Met Sally" in
pig-Latin. Why make this 20th century audience work
so hard to de-code the presentation? I think there
are those (perhaps many) who have mastered this
pseudo foreign language of Shakespeare. For them,
they may very well delight in "hearing this play."
But for me, I felt like a kid on the outside of the
club house looking in -- and not seeing anything
through the window that made me feel like I was
Synopsis: Helena, faced with death or marriage to
a rich geek, runs into the forest with her love. The
geek and the women who loves him chase after.
Mischievous fairy fireflies drop magic love potions
into their eyes as they sleep, but this mis-directs
their love. It's a rather simple soap-opera type plot
that depends on the coded dialogue to soar. The saga
resolves slightly earlier than expected, leaving time
for a purposely horrible theatric-sketch with which
to amuse the duke and duchess. This piece is
completely wonderful. It's Shakespeare poking fun of
the bad writers and actors of his time, but at least
it wasn't so thickly encoded. I was able to "get it"
and laugh along with Shakespeare. Unfortunately, it
was the only time in the picture where I felt much of
To be fair, I screened the picture with a lover
of Shakespeare (a knower of the club-house password).
In his words, "It was a lovely production -- not
spectacular or daring, but lovely."