A noblewoman disguises herself as a young man and falls for her employer, a lovesick count. Unfortunately, the count's beloved falls for the disguised noblewoman and a comedy of unrequited love and mistaken identities ensues.
Viola and Sebastian are lookalike twins, separated by a shipwreck. Viola lands in Illyria, where she disguises herself like her brother and goes into the service of the Duke Orsino. Orsino ... See full summary »
Viola and her twin brother Sebastian are separated after a shipwreck on the coast of Illyria, and each believes the other drowned. Viola disguises herself as a male page named Cesario and ... See full summary »
Normally, modern adaptations of Shakespeare tend to be clunky and forced; Baz Luhrmann's "Romeo + Juliet" and Michael Almereyda's "Hamlet" are perfect testament to this. Even Richard Loncraine's "Richard III" falls on dull devices trying to place the action of that play in the imagined setting of World War Two. Perhaps it is that the tragedies and histories do not lend themselves well to being updated or embellished (see Julie Taymore's "Titus") and would best be left as they are.
This adaptation of Twelfth Night, however, benefits greatly from the liberties Andrew Bannerman and Tim Supple take with it. Not only is the story better for the adaptation, but the songs are beautifully rendered and the acting and stage direction is superb.
Also incredible is how much they accomplished with so little. This is quite obviously a low budget television adaptation with only a dozen or so sets and very few frills, but what the producers and directors manage to achieve with so little is startling. Whatever Bannerman and Supple made this for could not have exceeded the cost of a luxury car, but the film is a far better ride.
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