It is not fantastic, but it’s fun to watch and the acting is all decent. Helen Mirren is sensual and luminous as Titania. The “hempen homespuns” are bumbling, but funny. Helena (Cherith Mellor) is fun to watch as her character has to deal with the changes in her friends brought on by the fairy love juice.
I wasn’t sure I was going to like this version at all. The film starts very slowly. The “Athenians” are in what appears to be an 18th century English home with a big clock ticking in the background. The four Athenian youngsters are lined up at a table as Hermia’s father tells her she must marry Demetrius and give up Lysander. Helena’s character seems so bumbling and prunish at first. I just wasn’t sure I was going to get into it.
But enter the fairy world and things started moving along nicely. The story, with all its convolutions, is very easy to follow in this version. It’s clear who is in love with who at which moment and why.
So, I liked it all in all. And it can’t help but be funny, because the play itself is so silly with the Athenians falling in and out of love and the fairies playing tricks.
HOWEVER. And it’s a big however. This version creates a dark mood, especially in the fairy kingdom. Puck is creepy and Oberon is mean-spirited. There’s a darkness hanging over the whole production that seems off to me. Again, I haven’t re-read the text yet, but my memories of this play are all lightness, magic, and comedy. That’s not the tone here. Still, I enjoyed watching this and I’m looking forward to seeing more film versions.
© All Content, Copyright 2010 by Blog Author, Or What You Will. All Rights Reserved.