Shakespeare in Love is a romantic comedy written by Marc Norman, directed by John Madden and released in 1998. The main characters are interpreted by Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow, in the roles of William Shakespeare and Viola De Lesseps respectively.
Are you expecting to find the usual writer whose interest is exclusively writing poems? Not this time, since in the film Shakespeare is a poet unable to get over his writer’s block and, as a result, is not nearly as successful as the other great playwright of the city, Christopher Marlowe. This is the big problem that he has to face, since he has promised his next play to the manager of The Rose Theatre, Philip Henslowe. Due to this, he is struggling to find a muse who can inspire him. He is trying to write a play called Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter, but his love failures make him always change his mind. Things change when he meets Viola De Lesseps, a young lady of the English nobility who has to marry Lord Wessex, a cold-hearted and mean man. She sees Shakespeare’s works for what they truly are and knows by heart every line. The wealthy girl also secretly wishes to become an actress but, since at that time it was illegal for women to act, she pretends to be a man. The meeting between Will and Viola will mark a fundamental turning point in the whole film.
The film, set in London in the late 16th century, is a brilliant combination of invention, period costume, love and intriguing ups and downs. The tone of the narration is flowing and witty, the dialogues sound natural and the entire cast are extraordinary. In addition, it is given an accurate historical background, when theatres were regarded as a source of sin and the stability of the profession could not be guaranteed, inasmuch as companies could often be threatened by closing the theatres in order to avoid the spread of the plague.
The strength of the film lies in an accurate depiction of Shakespeare’s world, not only of his plays, but also of his deepest emotions.
If you are looking for a touching love story with both an interesting historical background and plenty of gags, we highly recommend this movie.
Autori: Guglielmo Longo, Alice Nalesso, Fiamma Ricato, Elena Susanu e Martina Taffarello