As You Like It

2006

As You Like It (2006)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

With a setting inspired by 19th Century Japan, director Kenneth Branagh adapts Shakespeare's lightest and most delightful comedy 'As You Like It,' a celebration of the enduring power of love in all its many disguises. Witty, playful and utterly magical, the story is a compelling romantic adventure in which Rosalind and Orlando's famous courtship is played out against a backdrop of political rivalry, banishment and exile in Forest of Arden.

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Critic Reviews for As You Like It

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (1)

Branagh's fifth foray into celluloid Shakespeare brings us this rather stodgy version of the Bard's wise comedy of old Japan.

Sep 21, 2007 | Rating: 2/6 | Full Review…

Fun retelling, but longer than teens will like it.

Dec 18, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Energetic and entertaining, but it's like a long episode of an over-talky, out-of-control soap opera.

Sep 21, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

It's not an unsuccessful adaptation. But it rarely catches fire as one of Shakespeare's most popular plays should.

Sep 21, 2007 | Rating: 3/5

Kenneth Branagh directs this pedestrian spin on the Shakespearean comedy that proves stubbornly resistant to his boisterous brand of all-star panto.

Sep 21, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Kenneth Branagh gamely continues to put Shakespeare on film, and audiences continue to ignore them.

Sep 21, 2007 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for As You Like It

½

For an overview of the play and some decent performances this is fine but isn't up to the standards of Branagh's 'Hamlet' or 'Much Ado' (I haven't seen 'Henry V' or 'Love's Labours'). His concept of setting it in a Japanese culture doesn't really work , especially since there are so few actual japanese actors. Also the dramatic beginning, although interesting as a scene setter, is far too drataic and doesn't work in what should essentially be a comedy. The actors all do very well with their parts and make sense of the script (there is little actual verse in the play so it isn't a difficult one to follow) but you can't help wishing that such a good cast were given a more substantial Shakespeare play to perform. Interestingly the epilogue is cleverly done and is better than most of the rest of the film. If only Branagh had pursued this style rather than the other.

David Sayers
David Sayers

Super Reviewer

The awful confusion of Shakespeare's novel itself is a confusion, imagine a movie about it...

Yinalí Ríos
Yinalí Ríos

Super Reviewer

½

Here's one that snuck completely under my radar, probably because it was apparently made-for-HBO (which I don't have) and not released theatrically. I like Branagh, and I like Kline, but Bryce Dallas Howard in the lead? I'll pass... right? Well, I gave it a shot. Kenneth Branagh has successfully returned to the lighter side of Shakespeare for the first time since 1993's Much Ado About Nothing (Love's Labour's Lost is better left overlooked). He again shifts the setting, this time to 19th century Japan. An odd choice, but it kind of works.. once you get used to it. The acting across the board is top-notch, and unlike some other Shakespeare adaptations, they all sound completely natural reciting the dialogue. I do have problem with them expecting us to believe the other characters actually thinks she is a man (when all she's done is change her clothes), but I guess that's just one of those things you have to overlook and suspend disbelief. As for Bryce, she could not have been more perfect in the role. She is undeniably charming, handles the part masterfully, and is by far the best thing about the film. Maybe it's time to overlook her history of bad Shyamalan films and watch where her promising talent takes her.

Martin Bishop
Martin Bishop

Super Reviewer

½

[font=Century Gothic]"As You Like It" starts with a palace coup resulting in the Duke(Brian Blessed) being deposed by his own brother(Blessed again), along with nearly all of his family. The new duke keeps his niece, Rosalind(Bryce Dallas Howard), around to keep his daughter, Celia(Romola Garai), company. To keep themselves busy, the cousins watch a wrestling match where Rosalind and the victorious wrestler, Orlando(David Oyelowo), develop a mutual infatuation. But Rosalind soon becomes too popular for her own good and is exiled, too. Celia decides to leave with her cousin since they cannot easily be parted, bringing the fool(Alfred Molina) along for laughs...[/font] [font=Century Gothic]Based on the William Shakespeare play, "As You Like It" proves the old adage that any movie with Brian Blessed in dual roles cannot be entirely bad. In fact, there is a most formidable cast that also includes Janet McTeer, Kevin Kline and Adrian Lester. But director Kenneth Branagh does not exploit the unique setting of tariff ports in 19th century Japan(actually every other possible setting for Shakespeare has already been used) to its full advantage.(Hopefully, he was not just inspired by the early wrestling scene...) Still, this is a gorgeously photographed and entertaining movie about love trumping material possessions every time. But love can be a possession like every other object. And remember that falling in love is the easy part. [/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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