William Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' Reviews
The soundtrack was nothing spectacular and the sound-effects and background noises were cheap clichés we see everywhere nowadays (cf. forest background sounds). Most of the actors' voice-acting was also uninspired, and does not do homage to the verbal virtuosity of Shakespeare's play.
I sincerely wonder whether the director knows of the potential comedy that lurks in the play, because I did not have the feeling that I was watching a comedy at all. The play-in-a-play was in it's 10-minute totality more funny than the whole 100 preceding minutes. There were no genuinely funny situations, and the movie was absolutely not original in creating these, Instead, it relied too much on the inherent comedy of the incompatibility of some characters and emotions in certain situations, and so took a too passive and unoriginal approach. The movie lets a lot of very obvious occasions of potential funny situations slip by, even the potential very comic situation with the chink in the wall slip (hint: "I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all"). The only scene that comes closest to a comic situation is when Helena runs away from a chasing Demetrius and Lysander, but even this scene was more dramatic than funny. Bottom's lying with Titania too was also disappointing.
Michael Hoffman's visual treat is a playground for the likes of Rupert Everett and Stanley Tucci to cause a little havoc amongst foolish mortals; it's fun to see Dominic West and Christian Bale compete for the affections of Calista Flockhart, having been previously introduced as rivals for Anna Friel. On the other side of the forest, Kevin Kline steals the show as amateur actor Bottom and his potion-induced fling with the luminous Michelle Pfeiffer is both tender and comical.
There's plenty of fun to be had here, celebrating the pursuit of love and passion.
Also, the camerawork here is pretty cruddy. Despite the beautiful set, costume design, and makeup, the film's cinematography flattens everything out onscreen and makes it boring again!
Ah well. Three stars for being well-written.