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Twelfth Night [Import]
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A retelling of Shakespeare's comic tale of identical twins, girls disguised as boys, practical joking, and love at first sight, set in the country of Illyria.Genre: Feature Film-ComedyRating: PGRelease Date: 30-AUG-2005Media Type: DVD
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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?
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
It was good, but no special features worth noting, no subtitles. I would recommend the Stratford version; a filmed stage production with great music. I actually saw that one live.Published 11 months ago by Stephen Gaspar
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 morePublished on May 21 2013 by truthfinder
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 on Dec 26 2012 by Bobbi
"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
We recently watched this film again (we watch it once a year or so) and we enjoy it every time we do. Read morePublished on July 9 2011 by Jennifer K.
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 morePublished on Feb. 16 2009 by Kurt Schmidlin
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 morePublished on Dec 5 2004
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 morePublished on Jan. 22 2004 by ~*Leasha*~