The King of Navarre and his three companions swear a very public oath to study together and to renounce women for three years. Their honor is immediately put to the test by the arrival of the Princess of France and her three lovely companions. It's love at first sight for all concerned followed by the men's highly entertaining, but hopeless efforts to disguise their feelings.Written by
The boys are arguing about the girls and about breaking the vows the made.
Moth, Constable Dull, Holofernia, Sir Nathaniel and Costard and discussing what to perform for the king, the princess and their company. They descide upon performing ^Óthe 9 worthies^Ô. Parts of this scene can be seen in the news reels.
The third extra scene is an extended version of the scene were the girls are discussing and mocking the gifts they received from the men. The extra parts are extra dialogue for Katherine and Rosaline. Katherine tells the story of a girl who died from melancholly. Rosaline has an extended part of dialogue in which she mocks the men and Berowne specifically.
There is a alternative scene for the masked dance scene more true to the story of Shakespeare. The boys dress up as Russians who specially came to visit the girls.
The fifth scene is the performance of 'the 9 worthies' by the supporting characters.
The UK Region 2 DVD does also contain various outtakes. Some of these were cut (ca. 4 seconds) to maintain the "U" rating.
Triple dedication besides Shakespeare: it also celebrates romantic musicals, lavish revues, and Movietone newsreels
So it is, right at the first frame next to the title, "a romantic musical comedy" is the tagline -- up front with no misconception whatsoever for everyone to see. The entrance is grand in Patrick Doyle's scoring style, along with the credit treatment on red satin and all. What an invitation! 'Like it already. Shakespeare would approve and applaud.
It's truly "there's no business like show business like no business I know." Here Shakespeare and his comedy of errors, a-mixing and a-matching love signals at play again. This common "love bug" (literally so) theme is ever present: in "A Midsummer Night's Dream", in "Much Ado About Nothing", it's all love wires a-blindly and mistaken assumptions a-crisscrossing. 'Tis all seeds of "Love's Labour's Lost."
The outstanding ensemble cast, the charming pairings of the lovers, the song and dance numbers (including a sizzling "Let's face the music and dance"), the costumes and sets, Branagh's script and the "Cinetone News" segments, his impeccable direction, and Patrick Doyle, a vital collaborator who provided the attractive score -- collectively made this romantic musical comedy most entertaining.
Branagh's passion in showing off Shakespeare in film media for all to enjoy is beyond evident. It all seem so facile, yet obviously there's plenty of love in nourishing this dream, lots of labour unrelenting from all involved in this production, and the lost would be Branagh's total steadfast lost in realizing this project -- love, labour, 'lost' shiningly shows. He's out done himself!
If you like musicals, romantic comedies, light-hearted Shakespeare -- go for it. The only special effect here is Branagh's magic.
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