Shakespeare is a man that has written amazing stories and plays that the world has been reading for five centuries, but movie makers always find their way to change his writing to the way they see fit. Sometimes I agree with them, but some of the time I don’t. That is why I am here to see whether As You Like It (1978 Edition) is changed to better the movie or to ruin the plot. I will be examining multiple scenes to see if the changes the director made make the movie better or worse.
First,I will explain the main events in the movie. So the movie starts off with you meeting Orlando, Adam, and Oliver. Orlando, and Oliver are brothers, but I don’t think Oliver really cares about the rest of his family because he is king. Orlando has to duel William, and Orlando wins. That’s when we meet the the true main characters, Rosalind and Celia. They go on an adventure through the forest of Arden to find Celia's uncle through comedy, and love. The main plot seems interesting, so let’s see if they change anything from the original play to make it more interesting or worse.
The first scene I noticed that almost completely eliminates an entire line of dialogue was act four scene one. The director changes the movement of the plot in the movie here. So in act four scene one of the play there's an entire part of Rosalind and Orlando talking about the wedding and the director completely takes it out of the movie. (1:50:06 As You Like It 4.1 165-176) Those little differences could mean a lot depending on what part the director takes out, and in this instance those couple of lines that he deleted actually helped make the plot move quicker.
You might be thinking who cares if the plot moves quicker. Well if you want to have a more interesting movie/play than you got have a well done and interesting plot, and if the plot moves quicker the better the movie or play you will make. So if you are making a movie that is a comedy you want people to be intrigued by how funny the movie is, so what you’ll do is make the plot move faster or go quicker so that people can get a nice laugh out of your movie. Now back to the main topic.
The second part of large change was in act two scene seven. He completely deletes seven lines of a speech by Jacques. Jacques does play a decent sized role in the movement of the plot in the play. In the scene the director deletes parts where he is talking about a fool that he has met, and how dumb he was.(0:54:19 As You Like It 2.7 50-57) It was a large chunk of dialogue, but all and all it just made it easier to get back into the actual important parts of the play. So far all i’ve been able to see is helpful changes that the director has made, but let's look at one more just to make sure he hasn’t changed too much to the story.
Before we do that some of you might be asking now, what about those lines that could’ve made it more of a comedy. Well those lines that were deleted were not really “funny” at all. It was just describing how much of a fool this man was. The actor in the movie already showed emphasis on how stupid this man was, and it was just mainly him rambling about his life as well. Now finally to the last bit of info.
The last part of large part of change I saw was in act one scene one. That part of the play is when a fight happens, but this time the director doesn’t change the lines, he makes the scene more intense. In the scene the play shows obviously a fight going on but it doesn’t go into crazy detail on what is happening exactly, but in the movie the fight has Orlando obviously strangling Oliver making the scene show more hate to his brother. (00:03:43 As you Like it 1.1 52-84)
After reading about all of those you might be thinking maybe the third one could’ve changed the events in order, but the author continued the story in the original way that Shakespeare had written. That is my point, that if the author changes the way a system of events that happen in the movie then it could change the plot for the better or worse. If you completely change the plot from the original I think that doing so could completely ruin a movie, and that is why I think that As You Like It’s director worked very well with the original play.