From Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet to Strange Brew and The Lion King the works of William Shakespeare have been adapted for the big screen with varying results. The Bard might just be rolling over in his grave with the latest one however, the Taiwanese film As We Like It.
If you are familiar with the play As You Like It, you will understand the basic beats of the film, but the plot itself is fairly different. It tells the story of a young woman named Rosalind (Hsueh-Fu Kuo). She heads off in search of her missing father, needing to find him before the government officially pronounces him dead. If not, she will lose ownership of the family company to her uncle. To find him she travels to a wifi-free zone in Taipei. There, she is cut off from everyone and meets a series of odd characters. Those characters include Orlando (Aggie Hsieh), who falls in love with her. Suspicious of Orlando’s affections Rosalind disguises herself a man and asks him to help her on her quest. But time is running out.
As We Like It takes a lot of risks, some of which add an interesting flavour to it. One of the better ones is the casting of women for all the roles in the film, including the male ones. It helps drive home the pro-feminist and LGBTQ+ point the directors are trying to make. On the flip side, the directors could have held off adding animations and video game effects.
At times the creativity of As We Like It is rather fun, such as using song to reference famous speeches from the play such as the “all the world’s a stage”. But on the whole the film is a muddled mess that people don’t need to watch.