And, oh, the insights and uncommon pleasures to be gleaned from such acts of transmutation. Those personalities, for the record, are hardly set in stone to begin with. Disguise is the human condition here.
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And finding the faces beneath the masks requires still further forms of deception. To discover yourself you have to become someone else, just as actors, to become someone else, have to dig into themselves.
The Bedlam troupe has already established itself as a specialist in multiple personalities. Against the odds, they brought a clarity and unceasing momentum to these interpretations often lacking in full-scale productions. Those shows were celebrations of the narrative power and resourcefulness of theater at its most elemental. They use a minimal ensemble in two productions to explore the mutability that any great work of art possesses — and the way we ourselves change such art by the different ways we look at it.
You know how every time you revisit a favorite novel or painting it seems to have transformed itself since the last time you read or looked at it? Well, imagine being able to step inside that work of art to embody those changes yourself. Elements of light and dark, and of stylized exaggeration and emotional directness, are intermingled in both.
Unfortunately, neither of them are able to escape the industry around them. Shakespeare's comedy about twins, Viola and Sebastian, shipwrecked on the island of Illyria. Ada and Lise are both costume designers, the first is around 20, the other around Both are working hard on their break through. There are also jobs for the movies.
This is where Lise A debauched nobleman offers himself to a beautiful woman, but she is repelled by his advances. He dons a mask and tries again, and this time is more successful. But the mask cannot conceal Viola and her twin brother Sebastian are separated after a shipwreck on the coast of Illyria, and each believes the other drowned.
Viola disguises herself as a male page named Cesario and A noblewoman disguises herself as a young man and falls for her employer, a lovesick count. Unfortunately, the count's beloved falls for the disguised noblewoman and a comedy of unrequited love and mistaken identities ensues. A girl washes up on the beach of the small coastal town of Illyria. What follows is a story of love and identity.
After a rich Edwardian widow impulsively marries a handsome but poor Tuscan dentist and dies in childbirth, her English in-laws try to gain custody of the baby. Gordon Comstock is a copywriter at an ad agency, and his girlfriend Rosemary is a designer. Gordon believes he is a genius, a marvelous poet and quits the ad agency, trying to live on his Brother and sister Viola and Sebastian, who are not only very close but look a great deal alike, are in a shipwreck, and both think the other dead.
When she lands in a foreign country, Viola dresses as her brother and adopts the name Cesario, becoming a trusted friend and confidante to the Count Orsino. Orsino is madly in love with the lady Olivia, who is in mourning due to her brother's recent death, which she uses as an excuse to avoid seeing the count, whom she does not love. He sends Cesario to do his wooing, and Olivia falls in love with the disguised maiden. Things get more complicated in this bittersweet Shakespeare comedy when a moronic nobleman, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and a self-important servant, Malvolio, get caught up in the schemes of Olivia's uncle, the obese, alcoholic Sir Toby, who leads each to believe Olivia loves him.
As well, Sebastian surfaces in the area, and of course there is Feste, the wise fool, around to keep everything in perspective and to marvel, like we Reading Trevor Nunn's thoughts on his film, it is easy to conclude that they were lucky to obtain such sublime weather for the large duration of the filming, in November. The Cornwall locations are absolutely enchanting; showing an England so far from the urban norm these days. The beautiful natural light, with later dark contrasts, perfectly complements the jovial, winning mood of this Shakespeare comedy brought to screen: and, what is more, this is truly beyond any sense of 'heritage cinema', as Shakespeare's genius is retained.
Yes, it is all a very 'accessible' package, but much is unusual and distinctive to this film adaptation. Ben Kinglsey is perhaps the most glaring instance of a radical re-invisioning; his acting - stripped bare of artifice - is utterly compelling and keeps you watching his every mannerism. This Feste is an eccentric, multi-talented clown and performer, but he also bears words of cutting, melancholy truth. Indeed, both are wonderfully combined with the gorgeously sad scene of Staunton, Grant and Smith listening to his sad song: they listen and the words cut into their veneers.
Loneliness is at their very core. What a brilliantly rounded comedy this is; balanced by melancholy - the inch-perfect awry note struck by Hawthorne's Malvolio appearing at the end - and good will - the comradely bonhomie that Grant and Smith are indeed shown to share. Hawthorne and perhaps more surprisingly Mel Smith and Richard E.
Twelfth Night or What You Will
Grant really do a fine job and imbuing some real character in their parts; treading a line between broad comedic playing and human sadness. Along with Kingsley's career-best? Mackintosh and Stubbs are I guess a little less compelling, but these roles are really difficult to carry off Helena Bonham Carter is perhaps overly assured as the vain countess dame, Olivia: oh so archly bemused when faced by the cross-gartered, prancing Hawthorne, but generally Ms.
Bonham Carter is very much in her usual, predictably petulant, period-costume mode. Which is probably being unfair; she does convince, at the end of the day. Overall then, a wonderfully colourful delight, bearing the flavour of bright, melancholy late summer-into-autumn. A strange chill is cast by the compelling Kinglsey; a sadness that cannot be dispelled. This film has light amusement in addition to this real edge, and is ultimately a very affecting rendering of a bona fide Shakesperean classic.
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Olivia enters amid the confusion. Encountering Sebastian and thinking that he is Cesario, she asks him to marry her. He is baffled, since he has never seen her before. He sees, however, that she is wealthy and beautiful, and he is therefore more than willing to go along with her.
Viola denies knowing Antonio, and Antonio is dragged off, crying out that Sebastian has betrayed him. Suddenly, Viola has newfound hope that her brother may be alive. Feste dresses up as "Sir Topas," a priest, and pretends to examine Malvolio, declaring him definitely insane in spite of his protests.
“Twelfth Night, Or What You Will” - The Meaning Behind the Title - A Company of Fools
However, Sir Toby begins to think better of the joke, and they allow Malvolio to send a letter to Olivia, in which he asks to be released. Orsino is furious, but then Sebastian himself appears on the scene, and all is revealed. The siblings are joyfully reunited, and Orsino realizes that he loves Viola, now that he knows she is a woman, and asks her to marry him. We discover that Sir Toby and Maria have also been married privately.
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