Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Lolita Chakrabarti, Jack Colgrave Hirst, Sam Ellis, Doug Colling

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Release date: 8th February 2019

 

The year is 1613 and in London, William Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre has burnt to the ground. Shakespeare is devastated and never writes another play. He returns home to Stratford-Upon-Avon, where his wife and two daughters are living. He is distant and now even more so, after the sudden death of his young son, Hamnet. He was in London at the time of his son’s death and now feels the weight of guilt for not being home sooner. To deal with his grief, he decides to make a garden to honour Hamnet’s life. Can the beloved playwright ever forgive himself and return fully to his family?

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William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer to ever live, and he wrote in the region of 39 plays plus countless sonnets and poems over his lifetime. He was married to Anne Hathaway and they had three children; Susanna, Hamet and Judith. Not long after retiring to Stratford, he died on the 23rd April in 1616.

When telling a story such as this, you need a really great cast to tell it… Look no further than Sir Kenneth Branagh to be at the helm, both as actor and director, and acting royalty of Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen to be his supporting cast.

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Not really your standard ‘blockbuster’ by any means, this movie will probably appeal to a niche market. Having said that though, please don’t disregard this film. It is more than worth a watch. If you are fortunate enough to see this movie, then you will see that it is time and money well spent. You should see it for the cast alone; a masterclass in telling the story of a dark time in Shakespeare’s life.

Overall: 8/10

 

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