I went to see this movie not knowing what to expect. On the one hand, I was excited, because you see, I am an English major and here was this movie based on the life of William Shakespeare. In the realm of Shakespeare rip-offs (i.e., "Romeo & Juliet," "Macbeth," etc..)"Shakespeare in Love" clearly stood out. This is the first film I've seen based on the author, rather than his work. And it was a refreshing change from watching the pompous over-fed Hollywood egoes trying to pass themselves off as true actors. At the same time, however, the casting had me a bit nervous. I had not seen Joseph Fiennes work, but I had high hopes since his brother is, in my opinion, a brilliant actor. I liked Gwyneth Paltrow in "Emma" and "Sliding Doors," but I was wary to see how she would pull this one off. And as for Ben Affleck.. well, I was truly afraid he would flop. I saw him in "Armageddon" and immediately racked him up on the list of other such forgettable actors as .. well never mind. The point is, I was afraid he would make a laughing-stock of this movie. As for the other actors,I did not recognize any one else except Judi Dench, and I figured hers was a bit role, nothing that could affect this movie much. I was wrong on almost all counts. Gwyneth Paltrow was so radiant in this movie, she fairly set the screen ablaze. I never knew she had such range. I had not expected such fire in her, I always thought she was a rather calm actress, incapable of such passions. Joseph Fiennes amazed me far more than his brother in that he knows how to balance wit and passion, joy and sorrow gracefully, even more so than Ralph. Together, these two actors did more than carry off the film; they raised it up to levels higher than any other actors I've seen in a very long time. Judi Dench may have had a bit role, but she managed to make a lot out of it. She played Queen Elizabeth with more majesty and grace than any other Queen-playing actress I've seen. (I've yet to see Cate Blansett in the movie "Elizabeth.")But the true darkhorse of this movie is Ben Affleck. My God, he has a sense of humor! I never imagined. "Armageddon" didn't give him much space to roam in, but in this film he was all over the place. Had he not been flanked by such worthy thespians, he just might have stolen the show. The actors could not have done such marvelous work had it not been, of course, for the writing. The play flows smoothly, with nary a glitch in sight. This is note-worthy, for it is well over 100 minutes. It is written in a style that is at once clever and grave, passionate and dry. Love is one of the most abused notions on the screen today. It is rare to see a movie portray Love with as much originality and truth as this film has accomplished. Perhaps the highest compliment I can pay this movie I already did on Christmas night, when I went to go see this film. As the movie ended and the actors' names scrolled up on the screen, tears trickled down my cheeks. I must say it is not often a movie makes me cry. And don't underestimate me just because I am a girl and because I may be more sensitive because you see, my boyfriend left the theater with suspiciously bright eyes as well..
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Critique of the Film Shakespeare in Love
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Critique of the Film Shakespeare in Love
Shakespeare in Love is a fictional movie written about the great writer and poet, William Shakespeare. The story is of a young William Shakespeare barely making ends meet and trying to write a play for the local theatre. However, Shakespeare is suffering from writer's block, and is seeking inspiration by having a muse. A muse is a power, in this case a female, used to inspire a poet. Of course, a love story proceeds. Although fictional, the real story line is the writing of "Romeo and Juliet" by Shakespeare. The story line is wonderful. In addition, there are very educational aspects to the movie, which focuses on theatre in the days of William Shakespeare. The theatre life is educational and the reflection of scenery in theatres of this time seems well depicted.
The theatre life of these times is called Elizabethan. In the sixteenth century the most powerful form of literature or drama was non-religious and more concerned with the inner workings of the human personality. Shakespeare's writings were tragedies that focused on human actions without thought to the consequences of these actions. There are two examples in this movie that come to mind illustrating this humanistic approach. First, Shakespeare falls in love with Viola, his muse, and follows his heart knowing that she has already been promised to marry someone else. Second, is the theatrical representation of Romeo and Julie and the tragic love story it entails.
The dramatic style and preparation of theatre in this movie is of the baroque style. The Baroque style is a period following the Renaissance, from 1600 to 1750, and is characterized by a dramatic expression and performances or theatrical shows. There are several examples of dramatic expression during the movie. During the preparation of the play, there is a fight. For example, when Mercutio fights with Romeo. The poetic verse of the love affair between Romeo and Juliet is dramatic. During Elizabethan times women were not allowed to act in the theatre. However, Viola, the character, wants to act and auditions for a role in the production. When it is found out there is a female working on the production, the theatre is shut down. In my opinion, the most dramatic part, is at the end of the production of Romeo and Juliet, where Shakespeare is acting opposite his muse and she wakes up to find his character laying beside her dead and she stabs herself.
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Also, the costumes are beautiful and reflect an ornate detail.
The movie was a wonderful display of the sixteenth century theatres and their production's. The reviews of the movie "Shakespeare in Love" were differing, either it was seen as an outstanding piece of work or overrated. Sometimes, Shakespeare can be a little hard to watch because of many peoples unfamiliarity with the prose, however, I think the movie did a wonderful job of helping literally anyone comprehend the poetic verse. The movie also gives you a sense of the Baroque style and the dramatic expression during these times. While the movie is fictional, it is absolutely an educational tool in helping depict the theatre and drama of these times. Although nothing can compare to a live production of a Shakespeare play, Hollywood's interpretation of Shakespeare was educational and a joy to watch.