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MUST WATCH: 5 BEST FILMS BASED ON SHAKESPEARE PLAYS

An interesting vision of the classics.

William Shakespeare is an internationally renowned writer who needs no introduction. His plays are still widely cited, more than one generation has grown up on his dramas and comedies, and the stories of his characters are relevant in any era. We still do not know who this great man, who wrote under the pseudonym Shakespeare, really was, but the author of “the saddest story in the world” was an impeccable master of words. In September we will see another adaptation of the work of the English writer –  “The King”, based on the historical chronicles “Henry IV, part 1”, “Henry IV, part 2”. 

In the role of Henry – everyone’s beloved Timothy Chalamet.

In the meantime, the tape did not appear on the big screens, let’s remember the most successful films based on the plays of William Shakespeare. 

“10 reasons I hate” (1999) 

Sometimes the film versions of Shakespeare’s works are too detailed and boring, so it’s easier to read the play. But this film, in which Heath Ledger played one of his best roles (not counting the Joker), radically changes the idea of ​​the film adaptation of the classics. “Ten Reasons for My Hate” is based on the comedy “The Taming of the Shrew”, only the action takes place not in the 16th century, but in 1998. 

In the center of the plot, as in Shakespeare’s play, the young Katarina with a simply unbearable character. The girl has her own point of view on everything, to those who do not like, she speaks about it directly, at school Katarina considers everyone to be fooled, and instead of lessons, she prefers to go to women’s punk concerts and read books about feminism. 

The main character has a sister, the complete opposite of her. Bianca is a real school queen, she loves to be the center of attention, loves to dress up beautifully and most of all in her life she is interested in dating boys. 

Teenage girls are raised by a strict father who tries very hard to take care of them in every possible way. And it seems that the life of the Stratford family goes on as usual until Bianca decides to meet with the dream of all girls – Joey Donner. The father allows his daughter to go on dates with a popular guy only if the older sister, Katarina, also finds a boyfriend. And on the horizon immediately appears the main school bully, Patrick, who has his own plans for Kat. You can find out if the bad guy can melt Katharina’s icy heart by watching “10 Reasons to Hate Me.” 

Two hours of ridiculous situations, good humor and touching romantic scenes are waiting for you. 

Romeo + Juliet (1996) 

The most popular adaptation of Shakespeare’s play of the same name about immortal love. The action of the film, directed by Baz Luhrmann, was moved from the 16th century to the 90s, and the main location is no longer  Verona, but a metropolis reminiscent of Las Vegas. The feuding families of Montagues and Capulet turned from bourgeois to mafia clans. 

But the story of Romeo and Juliet can happen in any century. 

So gangster showdowns in broad daylight, disco-style costume parties, and churches with neon lighting are not at all embarrassing, because the characters still only pronounce lines from a Shakespearean play, and action-packed scenes add even greater intensity to passions. 

Young Leonardo DiCaprio is ideally suited for the role of Romeo – he plays a very believable teenager in love, and his feelings, fears, and longings are familiar to everyone who has ever experienced such emotions. Young actress Claire Danes’ Juliet turned out to be gentle, subtle, and sincere, which should be the heroine of Shakespeare. And the eternal conflict between Montague and Capulet in the film looks even crueler and ruthless thanks to shootings and contract killings. 

To get a better feel for the doomed love story of Romeo and Juliet, watch this romantic action movie by Baz Luhrmann. Leonardo DiCaprio will definitely not leave you indifferent, and it is impossible not to fall in love with his Romeo. So Jack from Titanic will have to step aside 🙂 

Hamlet, video recording of a performance with Benedict Cumberbatch (2015) 

We know Benedict Cumberbatch for his roles in Sherlock, Doctor Strange, and Patrick Melrose. But Benedict is not only a film actor, he also successfully plays on the stage of the London National Theater in the play “Hamlet” based on the play of the same name by Shakespeare. In Russia, for those who cannot see the performance in London, live broadcasts are held in cinemas, and the film version can be viewed on the Internet. This is a classic production, in the center of the plot is the young prince of Denmark, who is obsessed with the idea of ​​restoring justice in the palace and is ready to do anything for this. 

However, the new theatrical version of the play is not so simple.

There are practically no decorations in the play, they were replaced with a black background, which, according to English directors, helps to completely immerse oneself in the action and not be distracted by anything. The heroes’ costumes are partly modern, partly in the style of the 16th century. The action takes place not in a castle, but in a gloomy mansion. 

As for Cumberbatch’s Hamlet, the Danish prince seems really insane. Benedict spent a very long time preparing for the role, trying to understand his character and imagine himself in his place. And he really succeeded. When you watch Hamlet, you see in front of you not the famous actor with the face of Sherlock, but a confused and complete desire to take revenge on the Prince of Denmark. 

Deliberate minimalism, disturbing silence and emphasized the individuality of each character – and the hypocrisy of the king’s insidious brother, and the desperate melancholy of Ophelia, and the self-centeredness of the Queen Mother – all this is in the new English version of Hamlet. If you want to understand what is happening in this play and understand the motives of the heroes, then you should watch this performance, because it reveals all the dark secrets of “Hamlet”. 

Macbeth (2015) 

The highest quality screen version of the classic Shakespeare tragedy. A mystical story made in the spirit of the era when the events take place. XI century. The lands of Scotland are engulfed in a  bloody war. Fearless Lord Macbeth is involved in dangerous battles, and his wife, who remained in the castle, does not find a place for herself. 

She lost her child and more than anything else is afraid of losing her husband. But Lady Macbeth is freed from the power of fear when she learns about the prediction of the three witches. Her husband is destined to be king. And because of the crazy love for Macbeth, the beautiful lady is ready to get rid of all his possible enemies, if only her husband ascended the throne. 

Full of revenge, epic battle scenes, beautiful historical costumes, piercing Shakespearean monologues, the film version of Macbeth will not leave indifferent those who love old legends with an unpredictable ending.

Much Ado About Nothing (1993) 

The funniest Shakespeare comedy about the complexity of relationships not only in a pair but also with oneself. Two lovers – Gero and Claudio – have already planned a wedding, everything is fine between them, and they are looking forward to the wedding. However, from all the pre-wedding chores, they become terribly bored, and they decide to distract a little and do pimping. Gero and Claudio think that their acquaintances – the wayward and stubborn Beatrice and the convinced bachelor Benedict – are perfect for each other. 

The couple is seriously interested in creating funny situations in order to get friends to be together, but they completely forget about the fact that it takes a lot of time and energy to invest in their own relationships. Just at the time when Gero and Claudio are moving a little away from each other, the villain don Juan interferes in their lives, who wants to break their idyll and upset the wedding. He accuses Hero of treason, which completely destroys trust between lovers. However, because of this meanness, lovers will be able to sort out their feelings and decide what is really important for the – faith in each other or in dirty gossip. 

Much Ado About Nothing teaches you to mend your relationship with your partner before advising others.

This is an excellent comedy, in which the role of the villain don Juan was beautifully played by young Keanu Reeves. And we rarely see him in such a role. Another reason to look 🙂 

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