A Midsummer’s Night Dream (2018): The Perfect Shakespearean Adaptation 

By Ashtyn Britt
abritt@lc.edu

A Midsummer’s Night Dream is the classic Shakespearean comedy showing both the positives and negatives of love and has been beloved by many for a long time. However, in my opinion, there hadn’t been any very good screen adaptations of this play until now. A Midsummer’s Night Dream, first premiering in 2018, features Lily Rabe, Hamish Linklater, Finn Wittrock, Rachael Leigh Cook, Fran Kranz, Avan Jogia, Ted Levine, Paz De La Huerta, Saul Williams and Mia Doi Todd. The story follows the antics of Lysander, Hermia, Demetrius and Helena. Specifically, Hermia and Lysander are in love and want to run off to get married, whereas Demetrius is also in love with Hermia and wanting to marry her, rejecting the advances of Helena, who is in love with Demetrius.

What makes this adaptation so good is how well they apply the modern world and technology into the story, making clear everything that is going on despite the fact that Shakespeare’s original dialogue is used. The acting is phenomenal, the cinematography is gorgeous and the setting is indeed very dream-like throughout the entire film. It is especially worth noting that they add an extra twist that I greatly appreciated, and thought would’ve made Sir William Shakespeare very proud indeed. From the subtle nod of transforming Hollywood into Athens to the spells being used by the fairies using actual plants, and even the subtle nod to cupid’s arrow from the beginning, this is a dream of a movie!

I know many people avoid Shakespeare because of the fact they had to read his works in school and couldn’t follow what was happening; as is with most scripts, it plays out in showing much better than reading. I would personally highly recommend this film to anyone, but most especially to literature nerds like myself. The film is available to rent or own on Amazon Prime and is currently available for free viewing on Tubi. 

 

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