As You Like ItSeptember 1, 2006
Rosalind, the daughter of Duke Senior (the banished duke), is raised at the court of Duke Frederick (who is younger brother to Duke Senior and took over his dukedom)…
Release Year: 2006
Rating: 6.3/10 (1,536 voted)
Stars: Takuya Shimada, Brian Blessed, Richard Clifford
Rosalind, the daughter of Duke Senior (the banished duke), is raised at the court of Duke Frederick (who is younger brother to Duke Senior and took over his dukedom), with her cousin Celia (daughter to Duke Frederick). She falls in love with a young man named Orlando, but before she can even think twice about it, she is banished by Duke Frederick, who threatens death if she comes near the court again. Celia, being Rosalind's best friend, goes with Rosalind (who is disguised as a boy, Ganymede) and Touchstone, the court's fool, to the forest of Arden. Upon their arrival in the forest, they happen upon Orlando and his manservant, who are fleeing the wrath of Orlando's eldest brother. What follows is an elaborate scheme devised by the cross-dressing Rosalind to find out the verity of Orlando's supposed passion for her, and to further capture his heart, through the witty and mischievous façade of Ganymede.
Writers: Kenneth Branagh, William Shakespeare
Bryce Dallas Howard
Oliver De Boys
Orlando De Boys
Romance…or something like it.
HBO [United States] |
Release Date: 1 September 2006
Filming Locations: Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, Surrey, England, UK
Opening Weekend: €86,883
(1 September 2006)
(22 February 2009)
Did You Know?
The film has received a Golden Globe nomination and a Screen Actors Guild nomination in the "Made-for-TV" category even though it was not actually made for television. It was released to theaters abroad before premiering on HBO in the United States. (The end credits feature a "Dolby Stereo in Selected Theaters" credit.)
All the world's a stage,/ And all the men and women merely players: /They have their exits and their entrances; /And one man in his time plays many parts,/ His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,/ Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms./ And then the whining school-boy…
Beautiful, but with shortcomings
As You Like It is my favorite Shakespearean comedy, and my high
expectations of the new Branagh version were not put to shame. Set in a
lush, beautiful forest in an imaginary old Japan, populated by people
of all races, this version is an innovative and modern one rather than
a conventional and classical one – and it works.
The female main characters, Rosalind, Celia, Phebe and Audrey, are all
immensely good, effortlessly throwing around both unbridled enthusiasm
and unwavering character acting. In fact, Celia is near to outshining
Rosalind; only her obviously bleached hair detracts from her charm.
The male characters are, sadly, far less distinctive, with the
exception of Alfred Molina's Touchstone, who's delightfully silly –
almost too much so. Kevin Kline's Jacques is not bad either, but he
doesn't really steal the limelight to any great extent, the way he
perhaps should. In a production as colorful as this one, Jacques
greyness gets a bit lost.
I did feel that a lot of the original text was missing, and this, as is
so often the case with Shakespeare movies, is this production's worst
shortcoming. Almost none of the delightful Rosalind rhymes which almost
define the play are included, which is a grave, grave error in
disposition. If this play was often made into movies, that judgment
might be justified, but since the play is adapted so rarely, it cannot
The overall filming and cinematography is excellent, however, with
plentiful gentle camera movement and many close-ups, focusing admirably
on the strong emotions exchanged between the characters, and the
language is fluid as well as florid, spoken in a very modern, sometimes
even casual, tone, as we have come to expect from Branagh's very
accessible Shakespeare films.
We are many who wonder why this film has not received a wide cinematic
release. It has been shown only on a few film festivals, and this
January it will be out on DVD, at least in Italy. Is it going straight
to DVD without a run in international theaters? Why?? Is it really seen
to be so obscure and uncommercial that no distribution company will
commit to it? If so, distributors should be ashamed.
My rating: 8 out of 10.