As You Like It (Branagh, 2006) View large image

Film Details

Directed by: Kenneth Branagh

Produced: 2006

Countries & Regions: United Kingdom, United States

DVD Details

Certificate: 12

Length: 127 mins

Format: DVD

Region: Region 2

Released: 25 February 2008

Cat No: LGD93934

Languages(s): English
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As You Like It (Branagh, 2006)

Cast: Kevin Kline , Brian Blessed , Alfred Molina , Janet McTeer , Richard Briers , Romola Garai , Adrian Lester , Bryce Dallas Howard , David Oyelowo , Patrick Doyle , Richard Clifford , Takuya Shimada

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Adaptation of the William Shakespeare play, brought to the big screen by Kenneth Branagh. Rosalind (Bryce Dallas Howard) is the daughter... Read More




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Adaptation of the William Shakespeare play, brought to the big screen by Kenneth Branagh. Rosalind (Bryce Dallas Howard) is the daughter of a duke (Brian Blessed) living among a community of Westerners in 19th century Japan. When her father is suddenly banished, the frightened girl is forced to flee for the Forest of Arden lest she risk being executed by her malevolent uncle. Joining Rosalind on her journey to the forest is her sympathetic cousin Celia (Romola Garai), who helps to pass her incognito kin off as a man in order to avoid detection. Later, Rosalind’s clever ruse begins to serve a dual purpose when she determines to use the disguise to gauge the devotion of another exile, Orlando (David Oyelowo).

Kenneth Branagh is unrivalled for his innovative film adaptations of Shakespeare; his Henry V is an acknowledged modern classic, and both Much Ado About Nothing and Love’s Labour’s Lost brought a joyous vim to the Bard’s comedies. In his most radical transition yet, he uproots As You Like It to 19th century Japan; the crucial wrestling scene is now a sumo contest, and the climactic wedding celebrations are stunningly realised, with dancing women in kimonos (wittily described by one critic as resembling ‘Seven Brides for Seven Samurai’).

The role of Rosalind requires multiple masquerades and comic timing. Bryce Dallas Howard triumphs in the part, and makes a potentially manipulative character both sympathetic and delightful. Her epilogue, distancing the audience from the artifice as she makes her way to her trailer (recalling Jacques’ ‘all the world’s a stage’ soliloquy), is a lovely moment. David Oyelowo is an unusual and intriguing Orlando; Alfred Molina’s jester is genuinely funny. Another triumph from the UK’s foremost director of Shakespeare on film.

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