Posts Tagged ‘Time Travel’

Shakespeare in Love

April 25, 2010

I’ve not seen Shakespeare in Love. Here is a review of Shakespeare in Love.

Shakespeare, with curlsome beard and firm, fruity quill. William ‘the Bard’ Shakespeare, with his bottomless codpiece of words and his wise vetinary surgeon’s understanding of human nature. Sir Shakespeare, with his enormous, wobbling genius, spilling all over Elizabethan England like a flaccid mountain of quince. King William the Shakespeare, who, like Doc Emmet Brown in Back to the Future III, travelled to the Wild West and shot a one-eyed bastard. Sweet Fucking Coast of Bohemia Mother. William ‘Jehovah’ Shakespeare is in the Motherfucking House.

Did you know Shakespeare fell in love? No, I didn’t either, but it makes sense that he did, really, doesn’t it, considering how definitively he nailed the concept on the head in Romeo and Juliet? Does it? When you think about it, there are many things that we don’t know about William Shakespeare, such as: what was he thinking? How did he think he could get away with it? Did Shakespeare even write Shakespeare’s plays? Of course not, no. But that was his genius, see. He knew only mugs write their own plays. So he paid Francis Bacon, the famous butcher, to write them for him.

Tom Stoppard has written a film about how Shakespeare fell in love with the tiny-headed, moustached Gwyneth Paltrow. The lighting in this film is very realistic, and reflects the strict laws that were in place at the time regarding the use of spotlights and floodlights (they were banned). The food in this film is also very well-observed. No-one, for instance, can be seen on camera eating such modern comestibles as hamburgers or poppadoms. Stoppard scrupulously avoids all such inauthentic period details and sticks to the historical facts. You can’t buy that kind of verisimilitude.

Joseph Fiennes plays Shakespeare tolerably I suppose, though he holds the quill much too limply. Do you think that the man who wrote such memorable lines as ‘To be or not’ and ‘I want a horse’ held his quill as if it were a mere chicken drumstick? No. Shakespeare held on to that quill as if it were one of God’s own whiskers, frazzling with a thousand megavolts of hot lightning and channelling the furies of creation. He tugged that fucking quill like a champion and banged out a thousand masterpieces. He did not, Joseph Fiennes, hold it like an atrophied spanner.

The script is pretty good. There are a few choice Stoppardisms in there, such as when Affleck says ‘I’m in a play’, and then another character says ‘I’m reading from a script’. Before Stoppard was born, all characters laboured under the delusion that they were real people, and no one had the heart to tell them that they were not. Stoppard changed all that, though perhaps those were more innocent times.

All told, this isn’t bad movie. It seems to do Shakespeare justice. Yeah, I like it. Check it out.