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Love’s Labour’s Lost

Not only a treat but a chance for audiences to gain a better understanding of one of Shakespeares lesser known but more boisteriously poetic plays. The story involves a young king who decrees that he and his three colleagues shall swear off the company of women and devote themselves to study. The romantic and Berowne immediately sees a problem with such a pledge and is proven right when the King is forced to meet with the Princess of France and her ladies in waitingand there just happens to be one lady for each gentleman..

CLIP What lady is she

In adapting the play, Branagh takes his cue from Shakespeare, who repeatedly calls for music, and turns Loves Labours Lost into a 1930s style musical comedy. He deletes Shakespeares words and replaces them with the words and music of Gershwin, Berlin and Porter. This may be sacrilidge to some but it may also make the play more accessible and less intimadating to others less familiar with Shakespeare.

Jack OBrien, executive director of the Old Globe Theatre, will be overseeing the third version of Loves Labours Lost at the Globe and he welcomes the film as a kind of cliff notes introduction to the play.

JACK OBRIEN: Getting the story clear then come to the play, you might have more patience with Shakespeares music than Gershwins.

Sometimes the music Branagh selects works beautifully as when the lovesick Berowne breaks into Berlins Cheek to Cheek

SONG Cheek to Cheek

And as he sings giddily of heaven he is literally lifted into the air and ascends into a celestial atrium where he and the others glide about. At these moment we can see why Branagh was inspired to adapt the play as he did. But there are other times when the music seems less appropriate and seems chosen simply because Branagh wanted to do that particular number. In a way, a more accurate description of the film is to say that Branagh wanted to make a thirties style musical with his favorite songs and his characters occasionally quote a little Shakespeare.

Branagh succeeds in capturing the dreamy romantic spirit of the play

JACK OBRIEN: See the movie first because he hasnt done the play all the poetry doesnt make a good movie camera is not kind to language. -----

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