Kenneth Branagh’s latest Shakespearean film, As You Like It (2006), had not encountered much critical interest when the article was written (2009). Even the ‘Community’ site of HBOFilms was poor of comments (there were actually only two: one extolling the director for putting “his whole soul into his movies”, the other lamenting the unavoidable cuts to the play text, up to the basic question “where is the rest of Rosalind?”. A third and more critical comment showing some of the inconsistencies of the movie could be read via a link. Very likely, the critics’ silence might be attributable on the one hand to the film’s process of physical and cultural dépaysement (with the action taking place in late nineteenth-century Japan), and, on the other, to Branagh’s tendency to choose a ‘worldwide Shakespeare’ stance (in the casting, for example, where Orlando and Oliver are two black actors). Besides that, since As You Like It as a ‘romantic comedy’ hides conflict underneath the cover of a love story with an ‘and they all lived happily ever after’ ending, what strikes spectators most is the violence surfacing in the film (from the very beginning when Duke Senior is usurped after a Ninja warriors’ attack). The article analyses how the contrasts built by Shakespeare inside the play (the most visible one being the fight between Orlando and the Usurper’s wrestler) are rendered in the film, so as to make the latter conflictual to the average expectations of a Shakespeare-educated audience.

Kenneth Branagh’s As You Like It: Plural Conflicts on- and offscreen

MULLINI, ROBERTA
2010-01-01

Abstract

Kenneth Branagh’s latest Shakespearean film, As You Like It (2006), had not encountered much critical interest when the article was written (2009). Even the ‘Community’ site of HBOFilms was poor of comments (there were actually only two: one extolling the director for putting “his whole soul into his movies”, the other lamenting the unavoidable cuts to the play text, up to the basic question “where is the rest of Rosalind?”. A third and more critical comment showing some of the inconsistencies of the movie could be read via a link. Very likely, the critics’ silence might be attributable on the one hand to the film’s process of physical and cultural dépaysement (with the action taking place in late nineteenth-century Japan), and, on the other, to Branagh’s tendency to choose a ‘worldwide Shakespeare’ stance (in the casting, for example, where Orlando and Oliver are two black actors). Besides that, since As You Like It as a ‘romantic comedy’ hides conflict underneath the cover of a love story with an ‘and they all lived happily ever after’ ending, what strikes spectators most is the violence surfacing in the film (from the very beginning when Duke Senior is usurped after a Ninja warriors’ attack). The article analyses how the contrasts built by Shakespeare inside the play (the most visible one being the fight between Orlando and the Usurper’s wrestler) are rendered in the film, so as to make the latter conflictual to the average expectations of a Shakespeare-educated audience.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2525177
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