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A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S RAVE, by the estimable Gil Cates, Jr., is an
interesting, original, provocative take on Shakespeare's timeless A
MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM-all the more so because Cates (who is a
director to watch for in the future) has the effrontery to keep but the
barest skeleton of the original plot--i.e.,two sets of mismatched
couples-Oberon and Titania-Bottom and the "players"----all the while
deciding to take it in more daring, unexpected directions than the
Immortal Bard ever intended. While previous versions---(Brook's,
Branagh's, etc.) stressed the pastoral, dark aspects of the play--along
with keeping the fates of the characters exactly as Shakespeare wrote
it--Cates decides to add homosexuality and a scary-yet-funny drug
dealer to the mix! Plus, Elena--("Helena" in the play)--ends up doing
something totally different than the play! (No equivalents of Theseus
and Hyppolita, for that matter).
Truly, this movie is not for purists. Yet the cinematography is great, the decor and setting are funky-love the van Nick and his friends drive!-the music fits the spirit and setting (a rave) the actors are good-looking and fresh--I especially enjoyed Chad Lindberg as the "Bottom" character-(goofy Nick, who goes comically, spectacularly off-the-wall after ingesting some of Puck's "love potion") and Nichole Hiltz as the "Titania" character, Britt---their "fate" is charmingly quite different than the play and is particularly satisfying to those of us who think they make a great romantic "couple." I also enjoyed Jason Carter as the devious, poetry-spouting O.B. John, and Lauren German as the quirky, pixie-like Elena.
Andrew Keegan and Sunny Mawbrey are also interesting as well, and make a great couple, the rough equivalent of "Lysander and Hermia" in the play. The "Puck" character (a witty Glen Badyna), though, to be honest, is barely there and is not really involved that much in the action like he was in the play. Some of the other actors in the movie are little more than filler, as well.
Not everybody will quite take to the casual drug use---but if one is willing to stick with the movie one will realize that the drug subplot helps make one of the points of the movie---these young people have been trying to drown their concerns and desires in drugs and hedonistic partying--instead of confronting these concerns and desires head on and be themselves. They realize that one does not need to use drugs to feel happiness and love. Ultimately honesty and love are the greatest drugs of all. The dialogue between Andrew Keegan (Xander) and Sunny Mawbrey (Mia) perfectly illustrates this.
Not a lot of plot---and ultimately, not for all tastes---but if one is in "vibe" with the spirit of the movie--and is interested in the phenomenon of raves---this is a must see!
i enjoyed this movie because i love Shakespeare and I've been to a lot
of raves and...done what they do at raves....and watching this movie
made me feel like i was really there. my heart was racing because it
brought back so many memories and feelings-the actors totally nailed
what you feel/look/act like when you're on the sh*t.
the story could have been better but hell, at least it was a creative premise.
Oberon was a freak and weirded me out
puck was adorable-who is he?
rent this on a weekend night you have to stay in, it sets a realistic mood.
I thought this was a great movie; the other review I see seems quite shallow. You have to realize for starters I loved the way the sound was done. There are times where you can hear the echo of the sound stage and it gives it the feel of a stage production as a midsummer night's dream was but, then it will fade away and it's just like you're at the rave noise loud music and such. I found it to be far more comedic of a movie than the romantic story from which it's based on. If you've ever been to a rave or "experimented" with your club drugs, you will get a kick out of the majority of this movie. As for the other reviewer's problems with the films "homosexuality issue" I really didn't feel it was very much an issue at all in the movie. The only scene that even came close to being "scandalous" was two guys passed out together. Otherwise you have your friendly dealer fairy that everyone knows and loves and that was all. I'd buy the DVD or rent it either one.
I've never read or seen A Midsummer Night's Dream, so the comparison is
lost on me, but if you've been to a rave (and under the influence while
there) this movie rocks. The acting (during the rave) is pretty
amazing, and until I saw the "behind the scenes" from the DVD, I
wondered if some of them were really on something (drugs). It was very
good acting except that the characters seemed to be able to become
completely lucid when they felt like it (and who would want to at a
rave?). Some of the scenes were so realistic, I give this movie high
ratings. The plot was actually more of an interruption, and I would
have preferred watching people dance for two hours of uninterrupted
hardcore 90s techno.
There were three aspects of this that made it real, the dialog (at times during the rave), the music, and the lighting (alright, the camera work at times made it real too: the jump cuts of the guy looking for his jacket as he walked through the crowd, and the girl, Amanda, who came out of nowhere and started kissing Xander--their dialog was perfect: "what are you doing?" "what do you mean?", and their mannerisms as they went back and forth is something you will have seen or experienced if you've been to a few raves). The music was awesome, I spent hours looking for the soundtrack and still can't find it (I'm guessing there isn't one... I read an interview with one of the DJs in the movie (DJ Irene) who said the hardest part was straightening out licensing issues, so maybe that's related to there being no soundtrack available). I watched the credits and searched for the 50 or so songs that were listed, and haven't found much. What a bummer.
The lighting is also great, and really captures the mood. There are parts where everything has a blue, washed-out look, which is cool, but the music is barely audible, and that kind of prevents a viewer from being able to maintain the feel of the rave when the movie goes to the blue areas. However, the lighting looks good and when Xander finds Elena in the blue area, their conversation and acting is dead-on, right down to the "did I just say that?". The lighting when Damon is feeling it kicking-in and watching Elena is perfect. The glistening bodies bouncing up and down while the music jams is great, and the different colored lights falling across them, almost changing the way they look, will be like a flashback for those who've been there and done that. The only part that was better (in my opinion) was when Xander was feeling it while dancing with Elena. When he says, "I'm loving this" and it blends in with the music, it's absolutely perfect. The worst part was that it stopped. The music changed and suddenly I was wishing for two hours of a continuation of that scene.
Other highlights were the guy (Nick) who took too much, especially at the end where he asks the girl (Brit), "Are you real? Why, why, why would you be talking to an ass?" His mannerisms were truly authentic except that when she started talking about her next gig he seemed able to shake it off and become straight and coherent again. Not very realistic for someone who is still hallucinating and thinking he's a donkey. It was also interesting when Nick was walking through the crowds and started jumping to the music. Definitely something people who have been there will recognize: the inability to not be affected by the jams, even if you're just walking from point A to point Anywhere. Dialog could have all been more like Elena when she said she wanted to kiss Xander, she just kind of breathed the words out. That was convincing.
If you've been there and want to remember, this movie has bits and pieces that will bring it back. If you haven't been there, you may or may not enjoy it.
If you've seen Human Traffic and GO then this a little of both. It has
the Americanism aspect you get in GO and almost the rave feeling and
music from Human Traffic. I watched, sometimes I wanted to
fast-forward, but something that makes a movie watchable is that I
identified with a couple of the characters, even if it was only for
something they said or a thought/feeling they were going through.
The problem with this movie was it needed to grow up, it needed to be more written around someones experience rather than experiences being shaped in to Shakespeare's play. Playing with the greats is not easy. Most if not all films based around Shakespeare have failed. If you take the idea and then use that to help you make a movie, using personal experience, maybe something like Point Break (which sort of takes off Romeo and Juliet) that is far more successful.
But then again what do I know I'm only the paying public!
Probably would have gone to the Cinema but tried to blag a student discount. Would not pay full price.
I had the pleasure of seeing this film at a screening last week in Los Angeles with one of my friends who worked in the sound department. I attend many of these industry screenings and most often I'm disappointed and go with hopes of scoring a few free drinks. This film was an excellent surprise. I really enjoyed it. The modern translation of the story was clever. The production value was great. Most of all the cast was superb.
I can't tell if it was a great script or great director that motivated these performances but they're nothing short of excellent. This is the type of film casting directors salivate for because it's not loaded with expensive "stars" but instead with the names and faces we'll be seeing on the cover of magazines in the years to come. Once again, great cast!
The soundtrack of this movie really pushes the movie to a 10 but the story itself has a lot to live up to. This is not for people who want to see a midsummer night's dream by any means. If you've never been to a rave, and you aren't a fan of drugs, this movie is not for you. Like at all. Personally I think this is an amazing adaptation of midsummer night's. I mean the original story is based around people drinking a potion...and ecstasy is just a modern adaptation of what that potion could be. I'm glad this wasn't in Shakespearean language though, it just would be too much of a juxtaposition. At the same time, some of the throwbacks to the original play are a little contrived like the puck statement at the end (the part about offense), but the dialogue totally makes up for it. I love the candy raver girl who talks really fast. I dunno there's so much i love about this movie but i feel like people who've never witnessed a rave would feel really alienated by this movie. So I gave it a 10, but most people won't get it because they think there's nothing to get. But there is. And those people are wrong. jk :)
Too bad they did not release a soundtrack CD because the music is the
only redeeming thing about this movie. Imagine an unlikely cross
between "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Redneck Zombies". Assemble a
cast too physically unappealing (and too sleazy) to get work in the
porn industry even though their acting skills are on that level.
When both the director and the writer have their careers stalled for three years after a movie, it is a good indication that you will be viewing a truly staggering mess. Unfortunately the script kept only a bare outline of the Shakespeare play and replaced the rest with student film quality dialogue and plot elements. Most high school class project films are better than this-if only because they have a shorter running length.
This is slightly more dull and mind-numbing than spending two hours observing a bunch of drones and wiggers indulging themselves at an actual club. If you are determined to stay with it until the end, and are searching for a way to maintain you sanity, you can focus on trying to figure out where the $1.5 Million budget went since none of it made it onto the screen.
Obviously this movie is not for Shakespeare purists but neither is it for anyone with a few still active brain cells. The cinematography is high school MiniDV quality, the production design is accidental, and the editing supports the theory a lot of drugs made their way into the systems of the post-production staff. I am embarrassed to admit even watching it, oh the sacrifices I make for public service.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
Now to people whom are die hard Shakespeare fans then you will most
likely not enjoy this film. On the other hand you might because it
gives him to a whole new generation that is plagued with TV, radio,
internet and have never seen a play; much less read one.
I loved this movie because it takes the bare of the plot of the play and takes it to a new generation, plus I am a raver... so it combines two of my life's loves and mixes them.
This movie does not show the true nature of a rave in some ways because it does not show all the kandi kids. I wanted to see the kids that are all happy go lucky and want everyone to be the same way.
Granted as a film the movie has some lacking points acting being a major issue, but all in all this movie is a good watch.... Hope you enjoy.
i've always been a fan of B movies, one day i was cruising the lesser known section of the video store and came across this gem. bought it and took it home for a watch and absolutely fell in love with it. in my top ten favourites for sure. loved the music, the characters, the accurate adaptation of the original play and the modern spin on it was excellent i thought. i liked how it didn't try to be too much and was exactly what it should be...FUN. We need more movies like this i think. banging sound track, red hot cast, funny one liners kept it moving at a steady pace. would suggest this movie to anyone looking to escape into a little fantasy world for a couple hours and have some good laughs and just remember the good old days of careless desire. two glow sticks up!
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