Fleeting: Modern Adaptations of Old Classics (Shakespeare Edition)

Being a lover of Shakespeare, I am always on the look out of modern adaptations to some of Shakespeare’s works. Some have been hits (for me) others have been misses (you gotta have some) and some fall in the in between.

So what worked for me may not work for you guys, but hey, that’s what opinions are for, no?

Keep in mind these are adaptations that are also modernized… I will not be looking at pieces like Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet… which is essentially the play with a modernized feel, what’s the point.

West Side Story
This has got to be the most obvious. Taking a look of who kills who, what happens to whom and most of the ending (Juliet doesn’t really kill herself as much as she may want to). It is well written, well composed, and chock full of dancing, singing, and drama. Classic in a Romeo and Juliet piece.

She’s the Man
There is just something about this film that I found more than mildly entertaining. You have a girl that is prolific in soccer but her school is cancelling the girl’s soccer team. In the meantime her brother decides he wants to try his luck in England as a musician and as thus leaves the neighboring school he was suppose to enroll in for overseas. What this does is allow Viola (the soccer girl) a plausible opening to become her brother Sebastien (the musician) and naturally hijinks ensue.

Granted there are moments that I couldn’t help but roll my eyes, but despite the modernization of some story points, for the most part the movie stays true to the play that it is based off of.

I couldn’t help but laugh at the moments when Viola was flipping bewteen pretending to be Sebastien and being herself whilst is trying to dodge the his girlfriend (added for the modernization), her parents, and Orsino… however, for the most part it is just frolicking fun.

10 Things I Hate About You
Ah yes, one of the earlier films that saw Heath Ledger’s star rise in the early process. Now I will admit that this was one of those films that via the trailers I wasn’t all that impressed and as thus I didn’t really care to watch the film… then my sister wanted to watch it and I decided well “why not”? So when I watched it, I didn’t really appreciate it as much as I do now… later in life (figures doesn’t it?).

Kiss Me Kate
This Cole Porter musical is a mix between an adaptation and inspiration if that makes sense. This play within a play concept is about the shenanigans of various players of the theatre production as they put on a musical adaptation production of The Taming of the Shrew…

At first glance I was confused as to what the hell was going on when I watched a taped recording of the production starring Rachel York and Brent Barrett… but this eventually became an acquired taste for me and I began to appreciate the concept and the undercurrents of themes of love that were there.

And yes… I tend to over analyze about things, don’t I?

So why the sudden desire to talk about what I enjoy? Well I blame my recent love of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and the fact that the “last act” as it were and there is a feeling of “now what” occurring what is next for the production team that brought to the YouTube-verse this phenomenal adaptation.

In fact, now there is speculation amongst fans as to what could be next, and as for me I decided to go back and look at other works that were modernizations of various classics that I rather enjoy as well.

I am sure that there are others out there that I have missed, but the above are ones that are at the forefront and that I personally actually enjoy… 🙂

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