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Twelfth Night [VHS]
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Kenneth Branagh directs the Renaissance Theatre Company in this performance of Shakespeare's comedy. After being separated from her twin brother in a shipwreck, Viola disguises herself as a boy and finds employment with the Duke Orsino, who uses her as a go-between in his attempted wooing of the Lady Olivia. Olivia becomes smitten with Viola, however, who has herself fallen in love with Orsino! Meanwhile, Viola's pompous steward, Malvolio (Richard Briers), falls prey to a cruel deception on the part of Feste the jester and the wassailing ne'er-do-well Sir Toby Belch.
Top Customer Reviews
This version of Twelfth Night is OK. It's very watchable. It all depends how you like the play done and which characters you like and how they are cast, doesn't it, since Shakespeare's so versatile. But Orsino is my favourite character and if he's not cast as I like, and this one he isn't as I see Orsino at all, so I quickly got pretty frustrated. This sadly is my main recollection of the movie which I first saw some years back, then tried to watch again after seeing the Trevor Nunn movie, but quickly gave up on it.
I really don't see Orsino as a dismal lovesick wet mooning about flowers. Nothing wrong with liking flowers but Orsino is clearly meant to be a battle leader - he's the Duke, after all, the Dukedom's leader, who's been engaged in a war with Messaline. Trevor Nunn's version very cleverly has Orsino recovering from a wound on his arm, probably a sword slash. So we could expect him to have been feverish for a while. No wonder then that he's resting quite a bit. Now that's the right kind of approach. Manly whilst in love and when this Orsino talks about flowers, it's fine. The Beeb version comes closer although that Orsino's still pretty wet and in that one I disliked the presentation of Viola.
I've been disappointed in all the Branagh Shakespeare movies. So this one is no exception. But they are still very well worth watching as this one is. It would be hard to ruin a Shakespeare play?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Richard Briers and Anton Lesser in this make it worth watching for their performances alone! Brilliant I loved it.Published 19 months ago by J. Long
I now understand twelfth night for the first time since I first read it for GCE. Should have seen this years ago!Published on 20 Feb. 2014 by Augustus