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A Midsummer Night's Dream
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A Midsummer Night's Dream More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Best adaptation yet.

Author: w brown from London, England
12 July 2003

I thought this was a well rounded version. The time, place, and visuals did not take anything from Shakespeare's fantastic dialogue. This certaily beats or equals any stage version I have ever seen. As for those who say it is boring, or the dialogue is too difficult to follow: WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WATCHING A SHAKESPEARE PLAY FOR? Go find yourself some mindless action movie to watch.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: ( from Calgary
6 April 2003

Wow... that person who gave it "zero stars out of ****" is a little confused... though not without entertainment value. His comment "Shakespeare would have been apalled" is laughable. why? Because most of his whining was about the plot itself. Does he not realize that Shakespeare WROTE the play A Midsummer Night's Dream, and that that makers of the movie followed the original play TO THE WORD, except for a few dialogue cuts that didn't affect plot? And then he went on to whine about how frivolous and silly the plot is...

you know what? All of Shakespeare's comedy plots are silly and frivolous. That's the point. Remember, in his time, he wasn't an intellectual mastermind... he was an entertainer for the masses. He gave the playgoers what they wanted in his plays, whether comedy, tragedy, or history- and what they wanted was love, mistaken identity, gratuitous violence, a few laughs, and to be entertained. Yes, he was a great playwright. One of the first, in fact, to really give changeability to his characters. Most writers of his time used purely stock characters. Good guys, bad guys, drunk guys, slutty chicks, virtuous chicks, idiots, smart guys... but never 3-dimensional characters. This is what Shakespeare changed. He created 3-D, CHANGEABLE characters.

And don't start on "Oh, you are being shallow". Shakespeare DID put a lot of deeper meanings and metaphore into his plays- but that DID come secondary to entertainment. And even his great plays like Hamlet and Macbeth, with some serious psychological "WTF???" going on, were pretty contrived. I mean, the end of Hamlet involves four dead bodies on the stage, mostly due to mix ups (Hamlet gets stabbed by Laertes' poisoned sword, they keep fighting and manage to switch swords, Laertes gets stabbed with his OWN sword, the queen drinks the poisoned wine meant for Hamlet, then warns him, and he stabs the king AND makes him drink the poisoned wine. Nevermind Ophelia's previous suicide because Hamlet was pretending to be insane, Polonius getting stabbed by Hamlet because Hamlet thought he was the evil king, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern dying in Hamlet's place when they were sent to get him killed, and of course, the death of Hamlet's own father by having poison poured in his ear) So don't start bashing the filmmakers. You said the only good thing they did was the atmosphere... but really, that's all that was left up to them- the presentation. The play was already written, the characters already created, the plot already silly and Chick Flick-y. Sorry. That idiotic "Shakespeare would be apalled" thing just bothers me. I mean, he wrote the fricking thing. So, the only conclusion I can draw from this inane and snooty review is that, like many others, the complexity of the play and its many subplots confused the hell out of you (May I say something about attention spans here??), so you tried to turn it around and blame it on someone else because you're too much of a dolt to figure out what's going on.

Ok, having ranted- I'll make this brief. A Midsummer Night's Dream is like a comedy-chick flick with the added advantage of a cool atmosphere and Shakespeare's poetic dialogue. It's a funny romantic comedic fantasy. If you like that sort of thing, see it. If you don't, then don't. And for God's sake, if you can't understand that dialogue, don't blame it on the filmmakers. There ARE people out there who DO understand it, you know.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

overblown, slow, boring

Author: smallchief from Greensboro, NC
7 November 2001

Maybe it is unfair for me to review this movie because I walked out well before the end. That's odd, because I usually like Shakespeare on the screen and I enjoyed Midsummers Night's Dream once, many years ago, when I saw it on the stage.

I think that two things did me in: that squeaky twerp with the Shakespearian name, Calista Flockhart, and Michelle Feiffer sitting in a giant clamshell. Well, I suppose you could say it supposed to be a comedy -- but when the scenery is funny and the actors aren't, I'd say we have a bad movie on our hands....

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A lot of glitter and not much more

Author: June from Canada
29 March 2001

Visually aesthetic, especially with the faeries but very little in terms of a plot apart from the very barebones of Shakespeare's masterpiece.

Rupert Everett brought depth to Oberon's character by retaining an air of nobility while expressing a more pensive/boding nature. Stanley Tucci and Kevin Kline gave strong performances as the mischievous Puck and Bottom respectively. However, Calista Flockhart was horrendously miscast as Helena. I've never seen anyone jerk at her hair more while spitting out words in an overdramatic manner that totally ruins the effect.

Michelle Pfeiffer looked lovely with the body glitter but her speech did not flow very well. I thought it was rather lacking. The first hour was good, especially as the love problems developed but it seemed as if the film was running out of juice once the mortal romances were fixed up.

Film is good as eyecandy but not much else.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Lesser mortals have done it better

Author: springjp from Brooklyn, NY USA
2 April 2000

Perhaps I'm jaded.

I've seen funnier performances of Midsummer. I've seen deeper performances of Midsummer. And I've definitely seen better-paced performances of Midsummer. This movie seems to suffer from "Much Ado" syndrome, that the setting is more important than the play.

Midsummer deserves to be celebrated, to be rushed through at a frightening, breakneck pace. Here, we see none of that. A case in point would be an early encounter between Puck and a bicycle. While definitely a chuckling-point, it doesn't move the movie along.

Midsummer deserves to be played over the top, with energy. This adaptation merely plods through the script with attempted melodrama. Many a young acting troop has been truer to the play and more entertaining than this Midsummer.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: TheRumpus from Seattle, Washington
10 March 2000

This mumbled adaptation of Shakespeare's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM is a snore from beginning to end thanks, once again, to the poor direction of Michael Hoffman -- truly one of the most tedious directors working in film today. As with Hoffman's other films, the emphasis is on lush settings and not much else. The performers -- many of whom show up expecting to do good work -- are left languishing in Hoffman's unimaginative stagings. Several of the "big laughs" that Hoffman concocts involving Bottom and the mechanicals are obvious and labored, drawing no laughter from the audience.

Cheers to Anna Friel and the rest of the young lovers for doing their best to keep this one afloat, along with Kevin Kline and the mechanicals. Curses on the head of Rupert Everett who does nothing but mumble. A big shrug for Stanley Tucci, who is tries not to appear horribly miscast as Puck.

But the real curses are aimed at Michael Hoffman for bringing his leaden touch to one of Shakespeare's lightest plays -- and, it must be said, one of Shakespeare's sexiest plays (the action is all about sex, after all). Shakespeare is always battling for attention with the garbage that Hollywood passes off as entertainment -- and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM deserves a far better production than this dreary effort.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Pretty to look at but kinda boring

Author: Monika-5 from United States
4 March 2000

This film is eye candy to look at: spectacular costumes, beautiful green fields, large rambling castles, and an attractive cast. The actors are certainly talented and appealing, but this movie seems to drag and gets pretty boring fast.

Kevin Kline is truly the stand out as Bottom and steals every scene he is in, as does Michelle Pfeiffer as the lovely Titania.

All in all, not a bad film. But you'll have a hard time staying awake!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Needing of the hand of Kenneth Branagh

Author: bigswede1295 from United States
5 December 1999

This is a gallant attempt at staging one of William Shakespeare's most famous works. But ultimately it fails. It has everything going for it, almost. The casting here is all A-list. Names such as Kevin Kline (who steals the show), David Straithairn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sophie Marceau (the latest Bond babe), Calista Flockhart, Christian Bale, Rupert Everett, and Stanley Tucci light up your screens. But what is really lacking here is the director's touch. Michael Hoffman is not Kenneth Branagh, and those who expect this film to live up to Mr. Branagh's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING will be severely disappointed. While Mr. Branagh also assembled a motley crew of decidedly un-Shakespearean actors (Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton, Keanu Reeves), he managed to direct them in such a manner that they at least seem to have fun, and in such a way that the Bard's lines merely drip off of their tongues (okay, maybe not with Mr. Reeves). Mr. Hoffman's cast, with the exception of Mr. Kline and Mr. Tucci, seem to work too hard to have fun doing all of what is required of them, and this cripples the work. Also, one can tell that most of the forest scenes are shot on a soundstage, and when some are shot on location, this combination ultimately leaves a bad after taste and the audience with the ultimate question of "why?"

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Good, but more tedious than brief

Author: ( from Indiana
15 May 1999

I noticed that before this movie came out today)reviews were already in...very intresting since i doubt that they saw the same movie that I did. If you haven't read the play, read it before you see the film. The acting is good overall, but the beginning moves slowly and continues to move at a snail's pace untill about halfway though the film. The film is set in Italy, and it is confusing when the players continually refer to the town as "Atheans". The acting of the players is good after the beginning and only gets better as the film progresses. Flockhart and Klien give a great preformances as does almost the entire cast. The exception is Pfieffer, who is only believeable around the time when Bottom becomes the object of her affection. Overall...this is a good film, but first at least know about the story before you see it, and if you can get past the first hour or so, and the fact that the bikes look as if they were made a couple of days before the sceens were shot, you will enjoy this movie.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Basically faithful to Shakespeare

Author: tamas-1948 from Budapest, Hungary
4 October 2006

Among the many theatrical and movie versions of Midsummer Night's Dream I have seen this is one which could be close to the original vision of the great author. (It is a rather hopeless enterprise to surpass that.) Thanks to the director Michael Hoffmann and the nice performances by many good players (e.g. Michelle Pfeiffer as Titania), this movie well reflects the magic of a summer night in a forest and the complexity and confusions of human emotions, especially, about love. The three main components: the high society, the workers' class, and the fairies are all nicely represented and are blended well in this film. It contains a few deviations from the original play, like the place is moved from Athens to Tuscany, Puck rides a bicycle, etc., but these did not disturb me at all.

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