#6 Shakespeare in Love
Two tales, both alike in style,
In the distant past, whence we lay our scene,
From history we must digress a while,
In interest of interest, verily it will be seen.
Imagination be loosed as disbelief,
Tragedy be the tone in all,
Marked well with comic relief,
We see a tale standing tall.
A story so bold as to tell to all who hear,
Of the likeness of Violet in fair Paltrow,
And the youthful Fiennes as our dear Shakespeare.
Anon, we go.
Telling a story about a figure as easily recognized as William Shakespeare must be a daunting task. Telling that story in the style of Shakespeare, must be cripplingly frightening. Somehow, this movie pulls it off. While most of the story is pure speculative fiction, with history whimsically altered for the sake of moving the tale along, it certainly rings true on enough notes to be enjoyable. This movie plays fast and loose with our sensibilities, forcing us to accept the young, thin, ruggedly handsome Joseph Fiennes as pudgy, balding William Shakespeare, struggling with writer’s block and trying to write his next great play, Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter. In an even greater stretch, we’re expected to accept that anyone would ever mistake the lovely Gwyneth Paltrow for a man.
The movie does a great job of balancing tragedy, romance, and comedy as it gives some insight into how one of history’s greatest plays might have been written. There’s even a bit with a dog. I think Shakespeare would have been proud.