As You Like It (Branagh, 2006) DVD
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Directed by Kenneth Branagh
Produced in 2006
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - British Film
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.
Alex Davidson on 5th March 2008
Author of 237 reviews
Following on from his interpretations of Henry V, Much Ado about Nothing and Hamlet, director Kenneth Branagh once again returns to the work of the Bard for his romantic comedy, As You Like It, which Branagh sets in a lush forest in an imaginary old Japan, populated by people of all races. An innovative and modern take on the play, it's bright, breezy and instantly accessible. Alfred Molina makes an excellent fool and Bryce Dallas Howard a very creditable Rosalind
Length: 127 mins
Aspect ratio: 16:9 Anamorphic Wide Screen
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 25th February 2008
Cat No: LGD93934