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Twelfth Night [Import]

Helena Bonham Carter , Richard E. Grant , Trevor Nunn    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 196.12
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Twelfth Night [Import] + A Midsummer Night's Dream + Much Ado About Nothing (Widescreen) (Bilingual)
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Most helpful customer reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous! May 19 2004
Format:VHS Tape
My theater class and I saw this after I finished reading the play TWELFTH NIGHT, and I must say, it kept to the script really well. But the depth that it had was great- when I read the play, it was kind of like 'Hmmm... okay, this is cool, love triangles!' And then it skipped to the servant scenes and I started racing through those to get to the, I supposed, 'better' action taking place with the twins.
But the servants have some of the best character representation out of the movie, especially Ben Kingsley as Feste and Malvolio- they rocked. And the main cast was perfect, as well.
All in all, probably the best re-doing of a Shakespeare play that I have ever seen... I loved it!
Oh- and how can anybody help but love the music to this movie? Kingsley's voice is magnificent, and makes you finish the thing wanting more. (My theater teacher is a performer at heart, and after our class finished it, he memorized the closing song- The Wind and the Rain- and that's practically all he sings nowadays... and what's worse, he has our English teacher doing it, too. :)
But watch this, seriously. If you're skeptical about understanding a Shakespearean drama, have no fear. Everything's really easy to understand, and it follows the script almost word for word.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
The wonderful review by "theviciouscircle" says almost all: this is a rare and beautiful filming of one of Shakespeare's most engaging comedies. Every role is played to perfection -- the entire production shows the cast's and crew's intelligence, deftness, sense of play and extraordinary craft. Every single actor has so embodied his or her part that I will never again see the play without seeing this cast in my mind's eye. Ben Kingsley and Imogen Stubbs stand out even in this exceptional group. The music fits every mood in the play; Shakespeare simply must have heard these tunes when he wrote the verses, and the themes and backgrounds further carry us into the spirit of the play.
The Cornish settings in autumn are almost too beautiful; at times, one almost misses the acting, so spellbinding is the countryside in which it takes place. Trevor Nunn and his crew are much to be praised for finding locales that hold the story so gracefully -- we may know this is Cornwall, but we believe we are transported to Illyria. All in all, it is difficult to imagine a more exquisite realization of a robust yet delicate play. I have long waited to see this film on DVD, and in the widescreen format in which it was made -- how can the studio not release it?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
This film is basically great, because many of the scenes are merry and can make most people titter (which is not bad considering that Shakespeare's humour relies so much on word-play) and of course give you that "warm" feeling.
As for the well-known plot against Malvolio, the pranksters seem to waver between enjoyment and a bad concience for engaging in such an idle or childish activity. Unlike some other reviewers, I can accept the sometimes blank face of Sir Toby, the indifference of Feste and the sternness of Maria, although their behaviour creates an odd feeling, as if they are not really enjoying the revels. Maybe the director is trying to say that Malvolio is not the only "malvolient" character.
This is probably the play that has the best music of all, and Ben Kingsley's singing is good enough. It should not be more schooled than it is because Feste is obviously a street-wise singer.
The director deserves credit for slowing the pace down in the middle of the film. My favorite part is when "O mistress mine" is simultaneously played at the duke's court and sung by Feste elsewhere. Here, the plot finds unity and the many characters become powerfully united.
The best acting performance, if you ask me, is Imogen Stubbs as Viola. She comes across as a real person and somehow manages to show all her conflicting emotions at once. Many of the other characters come across as spirits, half human, which makes sense since they live in "Illyria."
The weaknesses lie in a gaudiness and, perhaps, in a fragmentation into too many clips and scenes. I've actually watched part of the film in black and white and liked it better that way.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ill will and romance in Illyria Feb. 20 2012
If music be the food of love play on,
Give me excess of it that surfeiting
The appetite may sicken and so die.

In Shakespeare's time women actors were not permitted on the stage. Their roles were usually played by boys or men who could do high pitched tones. You can imagine therefore the dramatic tension that can be created by a somewhat gender bending role, and what that can add to certain romantic situations.

So when a young lady, Viola, and her twin brother, Cesario, get shipwrecked, she washes up alone on the hostile shores of Illyria, where the Duke of Orsino does not allow women in court because he only has eyes for the Duchess. Adopting the guise of the brother she gains the Duke's trust, and he asks her to woo the Duchess in his name. Unfortunately, the Duchess has recently also lost her brother, and sworn off men for seven years.

The Duchess falls in love with Viola as a man, while Viola falls in love with the Duke as a woman, setting up a complicated romantic triangle. Meanwhile, Malvolio literally means ill will, we have music with Ben Kingsley as Feste the clown, and an attempt to mislead the melancholic Malvolio in the ways of love, and a mysterious anonymous message lending farcical elements. You wonder if Viola's brother might have miraculously survived the shipwreck.

In my opinion Imogen Stubbs does an excellent job doing double duty, and Helen Bonham Carter steals the show in every scene. Her facial expressions are priceless.

As a Shakespeare production I have to give Trevor Nunn top marks for delivering a beautiful setting, developing the tension very well, and for the license he takes with the scenes, I particularly like that the twins were a singing duo, and the bath scene.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Translation of Shakespeare to Screen
This has got to be my most favourite rendition of any Shakespeare play on movie. It takes place not in Tudor time, but probably around the 1800s. This actually works really well. Read more
Published 15 months ago by truthfinder
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW
This was the first Shakespeare play that I watched live. The actors brought it to life and I fell in love with William Shakespeare on the spot.
Published 20 months ago by Bobbi
5.0 out of 5 stars HE'S really a SHE: a movie that proves that sometimes clothes REALLY...

"A while ago the world began,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
But that's all one, our play is done,
And we'll strive to please you every... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Stephen Pletko
5.0 out of 5 stars A guilty pleasure
We recently watched this film again (we watch it once a year or so) and we enjoy it every time we do. Read more
Published on July 9 2011 by R3aLiTY_bYt3s
5.0 out of 5 stars Twelth Night
Can a Shakespearian play be made into a movie? They surely did and an splendid job they mad of itl. If you possess `Shakespeare in Love' you would appreciate this film as a logic... Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2009 by Kurt Schmidlin
4.0 out of 5 stars shakespeare for the dim-witted
this is not a bad production of tn, but the movie format slows the action down and disrupts the natural rhythm of the bard's verses. Read more
Published on Dec 5 2004 by "zhaow"
5.0 out of 5 stars Revenge is Sweet
When i first watched this movie I fell in love with it! First of all, the Duke Orsino (Toby Stephens) Looks really good in this movie, and second of all.. Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2004 by ~*Leasha*~
4.0 out of 5 stars Splendid Rendition of Shakespeare's Greatest Comedy
This play was spectacular. The acting was suberb. Helena Bonhom-Carter's perfromance as Olivia, Ben Kingsley's performance as Feste, and Mel Smith's hilarious performance of Sir... Read more
Published on Dec 26 2003 by Sir Toby Belch
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Adaptation
This is a very tolerable incarnation of Shakespeare's most well-known comedies.
It was rather boring for around the first half an hour, but then it started getting funny. Read more
Published on Dec 25 2003
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