Shakespeare Box Set

  |  Buy to Own: 23/07/2007
Rated TBC by the BBFC


Four disc set of modern adaptations of Shakespeare's most famous tragedies. In 'Romeo and Juliet' (1996) Shakespeare's play is transferred to the futuristic urban backdrop of Verona Beach, California. The Montague and Capulet families are embroiled in a long-running feud. When Romeo (Leonardo DiCaprio), a Montague, attends a Capulet ball in disguise, he falls in love with the beautiful Juliet (Claire Danes). Although already engaged to Dave Paris, whom she does not love, Juliet vows to marry Romeo. They ask the kindly Father Laurence to perform the ceremony in secret, but bloodshed and tragedy threaten the couple's future together. In 'A Midsummer Nights Dream' (1999) Duke Theseus (David Strathairn) is unhappy because his daughter Helena (Calista Flockhart), passionately in love with Lysander (Dominic West), refuses to marry her suitor Demetrius (Christian Bale). Helena's friend Hermia (Anna Friel) does love Demetrius, but her affection is unrequited. The quartet escape into the woods, with Helena and Lysander determined to elope. Meanwhile, the fairy king and queen Oberon (Rupert Everett) and Titania (Michelle Pfeiffer) are quarrelling, and their dispute entangles a group of amateur actors rehearsing their play. In 'The Merchant Of Venice' (2004), set in 16th-Century Venice, the story follows the lives of a group of Christian noblemen and their interactions with the Jewish moneylender Shylock (Al Pacino). Antonio (Jeremy Irons) borrows money from Shylock but when his shipping business is wrecked and he can't afford to pay back the loan, Shylock claims his forfeit in the form of a pound of Antonio's flesh. In 'Love's Labour's Lost' (2000) Kenneth Branagh directs, writes and stars in this musical adaptation of Shakespeare's play, relocated to Thirties Britain. The King of Navarre (Alessandro Nivola) asks three of his fellow Oxford students to join him as he embarks on a three-year course of abstinence and hard study; they agree, although Berowne (Branagh) in particular is reluctant. However, each of the men soon forgets their vow with the arrival of the French princess (Alicia Silverstone) and her attractive entourage. Romance is soon in the air, but will the amorous males manage to conceal their broken promise to each other while pursuing true love?