As You Like It (12A)

Film

Romance

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Mon Sep 17 2007

Branagh’s fifth foray into celluloid Shakespeare brings us this rather stodgy version of the Bard’s wise comedy of old Japan. Shakespeare, of course, didn’t set it in the Far East, but Branagh’s conceit is that a Japan in transition with the arrival of foreign traders makes an ideal background for a story reliant on transformation and disguise. As a metaphor, you can see what he’s getting at, but in terms of drama the idea’s surely more constricting than liberating. Indeed, the paucity of oriental faces in the cast, the obviously English locations and occasionally naff art direction make this more ‘Mikado’ than Kurosawa, and distracting.

So it’s samurai armour and slashing screens to the fore as good Duke Senior (Brian Blessed) is ousted by bad Duke Frederick (Blessed again), the former’s daughter Rosalind (Dallas Bryce Howard) finding herself wandering the countryside to be reunited with her dear old dad. Donning male garb for safety’s sake however also means that fugitive nobleman Orlando (charismatic David Oyelowo), for whom she’s previously fallen at first sight (and vice versa) no longer recognises her. On stage, we accept the device, since it facilitates the typically Shakespearean jest of turning our perceptions upside down before restoring a subtly altered order, but close-up on celluloid it’s harder to take, possibly because Branagh really does allow this mid-section to sag, plodding through the plot complications, and smothering everything in a glutinous Patrick Doyle score. Hobbled by Howard’s Rosalind tackling every scene with the same full-on gush, this really should have been better, expert support from the likes of Alfred Molina and Kevin Kline notwithstanding.

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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Sep 21, 2007

Duration:

135 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.1 / 5

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LiveReviews|5
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andrew

what a suberb production! the Time Out review I suppose has to find negatives to try to be interesting. the choice of location is inspired, the music entrancing, but above all, the words are allowed to come alive.

andrew

what a suberb production! the Time Out review I suppose has to find negatives to try to be interesting. the choice of location is inspired, the music entrancing, but above all, the words are allowed to come alive.

Philip Hebert

I'm no Shakepeare expert but I found this rendition funny and engaging and reviews such as this one overly harsh. As You Like It is supposed to be 'audience pleasing' -- pick out from it what you might like; this is exactly what is pleasant about this film. It becomes a (yes) somewhat silly story, an over the top farce of intrigue and love. Don't expect anything profound but it is eye-fetching; Bryce Howard as Rosalind iis very eye-fetching and alluring, Molina as the fool with an Eraserhead hairdo is a gas. Kline plays a morose Eyeore-like character -- as morose as the overly serious critics of this version seem to be (&in the movie he fades out as if he were a wraith-like morose side of Shakepeare). I also enjoyed the music for the film -- what's wrong with glutinous?

Philip Hebert

I'm no Shakepeare expert but I found this rendition funny and engaging and reviews such as this one overly harsh. As You Like It is supposed to be 'audience pleasing' -- pick out from it what you might like; this is exactly what is pleasant about this film. It becomes a (yes) somewhat silly story, an over the top farce of intrigue and love. Don't expect anything profound but it is eye-fetching; Bryce Howard as Rosalind iis very eye-fetching and alluring, Molina as the fool with an Eraserhead hairdo is a gas. Kline plays a morose Eyeore-like character -- as morose as the overly serious critics of this version seem to be (&in the movie he fades out as if he were a wraith-like morose side of Shakepeare). I also enjoyed the music for the film -- what's wrong with glutinous?

shelby

starting to think Bryce has a thing for blk men...two movies now with interacial love. i hope it doesnt hurt her career