After the overthrowing of Duke Senior by his tyrannical brother, Senior's daughter Rosalind disguises herself as a man and sets out to find her banished father while also counseling her clumsy suitor Orlando in the art of wooing.
A rich merchant, Antonio is depressed for no good reason, until his good friend Bassanio comes to tell him how he's in love with Portia. Portia's father has died and left a very strange ... See full summary »
I'll start with a correction to another review: Like most or all of the other BBC Shakespeare productions I've watched, this has some minor abridgments, e.g., the haggling about "Heir to France" in V.2. It's nothing like as extreme as the "Good Bits" approach that Branagh took, and indeed leaves in some passages that suggest that even Shakespeare nods, such as Fluellen's nattering about Macedonian and Monmouth rivers immediately after mourning the massacre of the boys.
Like most of the other BBC Shakespeare I've watched, it's mostly competent, low-key, and not very dramatic. (After Olivier and Branagh, it was kind of interesting to see a sedate Crispin's Day speech.) There are some outright mistakes in the directing, at least in the light of Branagh. I don't see how anyone, for instance, could ever have directed Nym's leave-taking from Mistress Quickly as casual. But there are bits of Shakespeare here you won't see anywhere else, so it's worth watching, once you've seen Olivier and Branagh.
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