Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Shakespeare Appropriation: Were the World Mine (2008)

While surfing Netflix this afternoon, I rediscovered Were the World Mine, a loose musical adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream that premiered at Sundance in '08 and which features the play's production as a central plot device. I haven't seen it for a good number of years (stumbled upon it on IFC a while back), but I remember finding it funny and irreverent and shocking and warm and wonderful--all the things that a good version of A Midsummer Night's Dream should be.

As far as I can remember, it tells the story of an outcast gay kid in an all-boy's school who gets cast as Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream. He then decides to forge his own version of the magic flower, and uses it to win over an athlete he's pining after. This prompts him to go even bigger, and he uses it on his entire town in order to open their minds. Chaos predictably ensues. 

Searches through YouTube for clips seem to corroborate my memory that the music is pretty excellent. It also makes excellent and modern use of the whole "sexual liberation and chaos" theme that Shakespeare tackles in A Midsummer Night's Dream, often in unpredictable ways. 

Here's the trailer if you're interested, and as I mentioned above, it's on Netflix:

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