Shipwrecked twins are lost among love-sick aristocrats, unruly servants, mischievous pleasure seekers, clowns, and a puritan. With music as the bittersweet "food of love," all converge and conspire in this comic journey.
The death of King Henry VIII throws his kingdom into chaos because of succession disputes. His weak son Edward, is on his deathbed. Anxious to keep England true to the Reformation, a ... See full summary »
Helena Bonham Carter,
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 »
Brother and sister Viola and Sebastian, who are not only very close but look a great deal alike, are in a shipwreck, and both think the other dead. When she lands in a foreign country, Viola dresses as her brother and adopts the name Cesario, becoming a trusted friend and confidante to the Count Orsino. Orsino is madly in love with the lady Olivia, who is in mourning due to her brother's recent death, which she uses as an excuse to avoid seeing the count, whom she does not love. He sends Cesario to do his wooing, and Olivia falls in love with the disguised maiden. Things get more complicated in this bittersweet Shakespeare comedy when a moronic nobleman, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and a self-important servant, Malvolio, get caught up in the schemes of Olivia's uncle, the obese, alcoholic Sir Toby, who leads each to believe Olivia loves him. As well, Sebastian surfaces in the area, and of course there is Feste, the wise fool, around to keep everything in perspective and to marvel, like we ...Written by
Gary Dickerson <email@example.com>
Reading other reviews of 'Twelfth Night' it is interesting to see that some people think it is a slow film and others quite fast. It gripped me from the opening gust of rain on a dark night to Feste dancing off into the sunset. Grappling with Shakespeare is a perilous activity but I thought Trevor Nunn brought out the comedy and the emotions of the story well. It is a film to make you smile at the follies of mankind but also their charm.
Ben Kingsley is amazing. I've never seen Feste played that way but it seemed perfect. Imogen Stubbs does the comedy and the drama equally well. The scene with Orsino in the bathtub is a stock one but she does it beautifully, balancing the humour of the situation with the tenderness and the longing. Imelda Staunton brings unusual depth to the character of Maria. The rest of the cast are great too.
The text of the play is changed around but not unnaturally so. The scene that cuts between Feste's song and Viola/Cesario and Orsino playing cards is wonderful, taking in eight of the characters and telling you more about them. The last act of the play is difficult to stage well but Nunn gives it a good shot.
The Cornwall setting is lovely, the radiant sunshine, the green leaves and fine buildings are captured gorgeously by the cameras. I also liked the music very much and find some of the tunes quite hummable.
Very enjoyable and worth seeing again and again.
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