123 Min | Comedy – Drama – Romance | December 1998
IMDB Rating: 7.2
Director: John Madden
Starring: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush
Shakespeare in Love Review: John Madden’s Oscar-Winning ‘Shakespeare In Love’ is a charming film, that offers several entertaining moments in the goings-on. It’s a film, that has it’s heart at the right place. Even the performances, are really good here! ‘Shakespeare In Love’ purports to portray playwright William Shakespeare’s involvement in a love affair at the time that he was writing the play Romeo and Juliet. But this story is fictional. Though many of the characters are based on real people, this is a different take altogether. William Shakespeare, has gone down a legend, and rightly so. He maybe love tragedy and it’s aftermaths, but he was one fine storyteller, who has remained alive among everyone. Prehaps, the most iconic playwright ever.
Suffering from “writer’s block”, Elizabethan playwright Joseph Fiennes (as William “Will” Shakespeare) is having trouble completing “Romeo and Ethel”, his new comedy. But, all’s well that ends well after Mr. Fiennes meets beautiful new lover Gwyneth Paltrow (as Viola de Lesseps) – because, after a star-crossed romance, Shakespeare’s tragic “Romeo and Juliet” is born. “Shakespeare in Love” is a first class production, benefiting immensely from the cleverness of writers Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, along with sharp direction from John Madden. True, somebody should have noticed Daniel Brocklebank (as “Juliet”) and Ms. Paltrow (as “Romeo”) needed to switch roles – but, most of what you see is plausible (it is, after all, a comedy).
Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard’s Oscar-Winning Screenplay is full of memorable moments. In fact, each character comes up wonderfully and the Dialogue at places, are note-worthy. John Madden’s handling of this story is remarkable. Art Direction, Costume Design, both of which won Oscars, are pitch-perfect. Cinematography and editing are well-done too. Performance-Wise, Gwyneth Paltrow is superb in an Oscar-Winning role, while Joseph Fiennes take on Shakespeare is endearing. Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush are good, as always. Ben Affleck is passable. Tom Wilkinson is superb. Such a Fine Actor. Others lend good support. On the whole, watch this tale on Shakespeare. It’s worth your time.