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Forbidden Planet (1956)
Loosely based on 'The Tempest', this movie is one of the earliest classics in the sci-fi genre. More than 50 years later, it has aged very well.
Bollywood reinterpretation of 'The Comedy of Errors' set in an unknown city in India in the early 80s. Sanjeev Kumar and Deven Verma give brilliant performances as the two sets of twin brothers that are separated as babies. They grow up without knowing about the existence of the other and mayhem ensues when their worlds collide. The name of the movie literally means grapes as in a case of 'sour grapes'.
Baz Luhrmann updates the play by putting it in anachronistic setting. Some of the highlights are protagonists that carry guns engraved with their family crests (as opposed to swords) and Romeo's best friend Mercutio as a black cross-dresser (he's still as bawdy as ever). The passions are still raw and the love story is still touching.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger star in this faintly feminist re-telling of 'The Taming of the Shrew'. Stiles' younger sister cannot date till she does and she won't date most men because they are pigs. Enter Ledger as the anti-social school outcast and sparks begin to fly.
Ethan Hawke plays Hamlet in this semi-successful attempt to reinterpret the play. Hamlet's monologues in the play come across as deranged ramblings of a young man in shock in the movie. The movie lacks impact and Ethan Hawke lacks presence.
Julia stiles (again) stars in this remake of Othello set in a high school (again). The story is centered around the romance between Stiles and the star basketball player from the school. Josh Hartnett is the villain of the piece as he tries to foment trouble between the two.
Get Over It (2001)
Loosely based on 'A Midsummer Nights Dream'. Set in a high school where the characters are rehearsing for the school play, which is also 'A Midsummer Nights Dream', cleverly enough. It's a mediocre movie, the highlight being Kirsten Dunst, who is always convincing in any role.
Vishal Bharadwaj's first attempt at a reinterpretation of Shakespeare based on Macbeth. The movie is set in the Mumbai (a.k.a. Bombay) crime underworld. The title character Maqbool is a low level operative in love with the Don's wife who wants to escape her marriage and incites Maqbool to kill the Don and take over his position. The script is brilliant and so is the acting and direction.
Director Vishal Bharadwaj is clearly obsessed with Shakespeare - this his second retelling of one of the Bard's plays. Based on Othello, the movie is set in the dirty and corrupt world of North Indian politics. The direction and acting is top notch throughout.
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