I must first state I am bias when it comes to adaptations, and that as a general rule, I do not like the big screen adoptions where casting the big names takes priority over who is most fitting for a role. That said A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays and despite reservations regarding the casting I did enjoy this adaptation.
It is a play where in truth overacting can be acceptable and on the most part the film was well acted, personally I have to say that Kevin Kline in the role of Bottom was the only part that I found to be really annoying but I fully accept that may be a personal reflection rather than one upon his acting. If any play lends itself to film adaptation it is this one with its talk of magic and fairies and I do believe that adaptations such as these do have an important role to play in introducing Shakespeare to the younger generations who can find the language off putting with its complexities. I really do believe that Shakespeare should not be forced upon children in the classroom; rather they should experience it preferably on stage or failing that on screen before being faced with the text.
The plot of course most of you will be familiar with, star crossed lovers in a tangled comedy of emotions that run the full extent of complications and misadventures before all is resolved and a happy ending ensues. As well as being a personal favourite I believe the subject matter of this play lends itself well as an introduction for younger viewers and I also believe a child is never too young for Shakespeare, this was one of the first films I watched with my daughter when she was younger (not this version though) and even though my son is only four he watched this with me. Of course he is too young to have a clue what is actually going on but he already likes the sound of the language and he loved watching Anna Friel and Callista Flockheart rolling round in the mud (maybe men are all born that way lol).
Sorry for poor quality it was the only one I could find.
Overall a good adaptation though of course nothing beats seeing the actual play in a theatre.
3.5 out of 5 stars.