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Love's Labour's Lost

Where to Watch Love's Labour's Lost

PG
2000

Love's Labour's Lost is a light-hearted cinematic adaptation of one of William Shakespeare’s early comedies, directed by Kenneth Branagh and released in 2000. The film boasts a talented ensemble cast led by Alessandro Nivola, Alicia Silverstone, and Natascha McElhone. Much like the original Shakespearean play, Branagh's film retains the essence of the narrative, splicing it with the glamour of 1930s musical extravaganzas. The harmonious blend of Shakespeare's language with popular Cole Porter tunes offers the audience a convenient entry point into Shakespearean verse, while maintaining the purity of the original dialogue.

The film centres around four young noblemen - King Ferdinand (played by Alessandro Nivola), Berowne (played by Kenneth Branagh), Dumaine, and Longaville, who all swear an oath of celibacy and serious scholarship for three years. But their noble plan runs awry when the Princess of France (Alicia Silverstone) and her three companions Rosaline (Natascha McElhone), Maria, and Katherine arrive at their court, throwing the gentlemen into romantic turmoil. The deeds and declarations of love from the smitten men, all while hiding their actions from each other, form a good part of the comedy.

Alessandro Nivola courageously tackles the role of King Ferdinand, displaying a range of emotions from the earnestness of a scholar to the sweet longing of a hopeful lover. Alicia Silverstone brings her fresh charm to the role of the Princess, engaging in power play and serving up sharp-tongued retorts, but with a vulnerability that draws sympathy. Natascha McElhone, as Rosaline, sparks chemistry with Branagh's Berowne, making their scene where they exchange witty banter one of the film’s highlights.

Branagh's reinterpretation of the play is ambitious as he integrates the story with the style of the old Hollywood musical. This stylistic approach allows him his most daring interpretative move: the use of ensemble song-and-dance numbers to substitute for the comic scenes in the original. The 1930s setting, with its Art Deco stylistic touches, provides a beautiful and stylish backdrop to the events of the narrative.

Intermingling with this main plot are several subplots involving other intriguing characters. These include the comical Spanish soldier, Don Armado, depicted brilliantly by Timothy Spall; the country maid, Jaquenetta; Moth, Don Armado's page; and Holofernia, the schoolmaster. These characters bring a refreshing reality check to the idyllic world of the nobles, churning the pot of comic relief with their spins and twirls.

The film is a feast for the ears and eyes. From beautifully composed renditions of Shakespeare's dialogue to vibrant song and dance sequences, it provides a theatrical experience in a cinematic format. It juxtaposes the vivaciousness of the musical genre with a somewhat melancholic story, offering a unique take on the usual romantic comedy. At its heart, Love's Labour's Lost is a romantic comedy with all the twists and turns, the witty dialogues, and comedic moments intact, but it also serves as a delightful homage to classic Hollywood.

The movie's cinematography is superb, effectively utilizing both close-up and grand sweeping exterior shots to reflect the characters' inner emotions and the overarching narrative. The use of color, light, and shadow throughout the film is striking, creating an aesthetically pleasing viewing experience. The Hollywood-style musical numbers, replete with theatrical lighting and extravagant sets, serves to emphasize the film's vibrant and fun energy.

Even though Love's Labour's Lost may be a divergence from typical Shakespearean adaptations, its airy nature makes it an entertaining watch. It is a film with charm and delightful performances. It's a great escape into a world of song, dance, love letters, and clever wooing strategies with a feeling of nostalgia for the Golden Age of cinema. Shakespeare purists may initially balk at Branagh's twist in the narrative, but it's difficult to resist the lure of this delightfully cheery musical adaptation. This film is ideal for the romantic at heart, seeking a whimsical romp through love, traces of heartbreak, and reconciliation, all set against the delightful allure of the Broadway-esque style of the 1930s.

Love's Labour's Lost is a Comedy, Music, Romance movie released in 2000. It has a runtime of 93 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 5.9. It also holds a MetaScore of 35.

How to Watch Love's Labour's Lost

Where can I stream Love's Labour's Lost movie online? Love's Labour's Lost is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Love's Labour's Lost for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

5.9/10
35/100
Director
Kenneth Branagh
Stars
Kenneth Branagh, Nathan Lane, Adrian Lester, Matthew Lillard Natascha McElhone Alessandro Nivola Alicia Silverstone Timothy Spall
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