Customer Reviews for

As You Like It

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    'All the world's a stage'

    Kenneth Branagh, aside from being a gifted actor with an enormous range of creative character abilities, has once again brought Shakespeare to life on the screen. His previous excursions into the bard's repertoire have included 'Much Ado About Nothing', 'Henry V', 'Love's Labours Lost', 'Hamlet', and 'Othello', and now he adds one of the bard's most successful comedies AS YOU LIKE IT to his list of successes. Branagh has the gift of making the visual aspects of Shakespeare's stories enhance the language and in doing so he makes Shakespeare sound like brilliant conversation (which it of course is) instead of stilted and brittle old English. The 'gimmick' used here by Branagh in adapting Shakespeare's play is placing the action in 19th century Japan, and while other less sensitive directors might have opted to insert parody here, Branagh instead makes the story seem all the more plausible - the two feuding brothers (one dark and one light) whose struggle over their estate opens the play before credits with an ingenious silent drama of black leather feudal costumed men invading a genteel house party of lovely people enjoying a Japanese dancer's performance. The original brother is banished with his clan to the Arden forest and there the magic begins. Love between several couples is played in all its manifestations with disguise, misconceptions, lust, and poetry until the play's rollicking end in a song of Hey Nonny Nonny! The lovers include the disguised Rosalind (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Orlando (David Oyelowo), Celia (Romola Garai) and Oliver (Adrian Lester), the court fool Touchstone (a brilliant Alfred Molina) and Audrey (Janet McTeer), and Sylvius (Alex Wyndham) and Phoebe (Jade Jefferies). Brian Blessed plays the roles of both feuding brothers with style and authority, and Kevin Kline offers a fully realized Jaques - the character who is given the most memorable soliloquies in the play. The settings and imagery (Tim Harvey) are artistic and beautiful and captured with style by cinematographer Roger Lanser, and as with all of Branagh's production the music score (here by Patrick Doyle) is letter perfect and atmospheric. But in the end the kudos go to Kenneth Branagh for his consistent courage and conviction that Shakespeare's plays are timeless, and his devotion to bringing them to the contemporary audience is to be applauded. This is a fine film - one to own! Grady Harp

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    This movie is beautiful! That's roght. That's my whole review. There are stylized Komonos and rich 1890-ish western costumes. A pallette of amazing reds, maroons and rose colors set against a magical green forest with ancient towering trees and exotic oriental marshes. The romantic comedy element is all about being in love being giddy with all consuming love. The Shakespearean words are edited short and crisp and are delivered naturalistically and effortlessly by the likes of Kevin Kline and Brian Blessed. Of the leads, David Oyelowo stands out as a very handsome leading man and Bryce Dallas Howard "an American" more than holds her own with the mostly British cast. Perhaps due to Branagh's pruning of the text, I also found listening to, and understanding As You Like It just as effortless as the actor's delivery. I'm not an English teacher nor an Elizabethean scholar and this movie spoke to me, taking me on a wonderful escape. "NOTE: Make sure to watch all the way through the credits!" It is obvious that Kenneth Branagh puts his whole soul into his movies. Thank you Kenneth!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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