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Shakespeare Retold

DVD

4.7 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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(Jul 24, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Shakespeare Retold (DVD)

Featuring contemporary versions of four of Shakespeare's most popular plays. Six hours of content on 2 discs!

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Amazon.com

Shakespeare Retold, BBC's four-episode Shakespeare project, is more fulfilling when compared to past filmic adaptations of the maestro's plays, since its experimentation ventures well beyond previous versions of the same stories. In the past, adaptations relied on strict adherence to the original scripts (see Orson Welles' and Polanski's Macbeths, or Franco Zefferelli's lavishly accurate renditions of The Taming of The Shrew and Romeo and Juliet). Though Welles as Macbeth and Liz Taylor as Kate are stiff competition, however, these parts are ever open for reinterpretation. But not until Leonardo di Caprio as Romeo dropped a hit of ecstasy on screen did adaptations stray so far into the narrative experimentation that this series relies on. The stories retold, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, The Taming of the Shrew, and A Midsummer Night's Dream so loosely keep their Shakespearian frameworks that unassuming viewers may miss the link. For example, in Macbeth, Joe (James McAvoy), the ambitious sous chef, kills his restaurant's owner to inherit the kitchen's three Michelin stars. Does this mean now that every movie about murderous jealousy is Shakespeare Retold? In The Taming of the Shrew, conservative politician Kate, valiantly portrayed by Shirley Henderson, is coerced into marriage by her political advisor to win Prime Minister votes. In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Puck (Dean Lennox Kelly) is a hippified nerd who drops onto the camera lens something like liquid acid before spinning a mundane tale of broken engagement. Shakespeare modernized without his language, or original settings, hardly feels like Shakespeare at all. Shakespeare Retold, will undoubtedly please some fans and enrage others. Though Shakespeare professors will relish this new attempt to contemporize Shakespeare, the four films comprising Shakespeare Retold not only diminish the potency of these classic tales, but also beg the viewer to question what Shakespeare tales really are. —Trinie Dalton


Special features

None.

Product details

  • Actors: Bill Paterson, Imelda Staunton, Keeley Hawes, James McAvoy, Shirley Henderson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 24, 2007
  • Run Time: 360 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000OY9VFW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,199 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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