Shakespeare's intertwined love polygons begin to get complicated from the start--Demetrius and Lysander both want Hermia but she only has eyes for Lysander. Bad news is, Hermia's father wants Demetrius for a son-in-law. On the outside is Helena, whose unreturned love burns hot for Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander plan to flee from the city under cover of darkness but are pursued by an enraged Demetrius (who is himself pursued by an enraptured Helena). In the forest, unbeknownst to the mortals, Oberon and Titania (King and Queen of the faeries) are having a spat over a servant boy. The plot twists up when Oberon's head mischief-maker, Puck, runs loose with a flower which causes people to fall in love with the first thing they see upon waking. Throw in a group of labourers preparing a play for the Duke's wedding (one of whom is given a donkey's head and Titania for a lover by Puck) and the complications become fantastically funny. Written by
Take a look at what some of the other performers are rehearsing while the Mechanicals are waiting for word from the Duke. One group of players are rehearsing Sophocles' Oedipus Rex and another pair of players are rehearsing a scene from William Shakespeare's play Othello. See more »
The opening text tells us that the movie is set at "the turn of the 19th century," which would be around 1800. It meant to say "the turn of the 20th century," as the movie is clearly set around 1900. See more »
I have seen criticism of this movie saying that the language should have been changed to our post-modern English instead of being the original late-middle/early modern English that Shakespeare used. But those who say that miss the point that what makes these plays so magnificent IS the language that Shakespeare used, and to change it would be to ruin the movie.
Anyways, the acting is marvelous, as it should be from such a cast as this. Michelle Pfeiffer plays the part of Titania with the utmost perfection. Kevin Kline as Nick Bottom is equally as good, and the two end up having a chemistry that is unmistakable (even if he is an ass at this point).
The directing is also great - almost as good as the acting, if not as good. Costumes, sets, everything with exception of there being headlights on the bicycles, is perfect. Michael Hoffman truly pulled of a great feat with this movie, and I would recommend it to anyone.
Also, on a side note, if you have trouble understanding the language, though it be English, watch the DVD and turn on the subtext.
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